Acting students plan to make audience squirm

Family squabbles. Knock-down drag-out fights. Even pillow talk in the bedroom.

These are the types of images drama students will portray at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 3, when the Acting One class gives a live demonstration on the fundamentals of Image Theater in the general dining area of the College Union.

Acting students are going to create images for the audience to observe. Afterward the audience is encouraged to join the performers in discussing the images and how they make them feel and think.


Image Theater is a technique of using the body to give a visual representation of abstract ideas and situations, said Brent Noel, Acting One professor.

It’s a kind of street theater where the actors are working to make the audience squirm, as if they are witnessing a private scene of family discord or racial prejudice.

To a certain extent the images that the students are creating for the audience are planned out before the demonstration.

“We have the basic idea of what we’re doing,” said Blake Gonzalez, Acting One student.

“There’s not a written script that we follow, but we do have an idea.”

Students will create their own scenes about real life occurrences that often are hidden in everyday life.

The class has been working on many images to prepare for the upcoming performance. Students have already created their own scenes of how they see the typical American family in the home.

One student creates the scene, then the class goes on to discuss which person is a certain member of the family. Each class member gives his or her thoughts on what the family is doing.

The class is hoping to get this same kind of participation from the audience during their live demonstration.

“We’re trying to make the audience uncomfortable,” Gonzalez said.

Students want to make the audience members feel awkward and out of place by creating unexpected images.

“It’s to try and show the people that these situations are happening in real life,” said Devin Oku, Acting One student.

There is no set number of images that will be created and discussed by the class.

“It depends on audience participation. If there is a lot of participation, which is our goal, we may only be able to get a few images done,” Noel said.

The demonstration is free to the public and participation is greatly encouraged.

The class wants spectators to not only watch, but also actively respond and question the images portrayed.

To contact Cameron Ramsey, email

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