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Friday, February 28th
3:30 PM

Finding Strength in Being TIRED | T1RED

Elijah Fisher

UC North Ballroom

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

3:50 PM

As Much for Your Sake: Gay History in Performance

Shane Lutz

UC North Ballroom

3:50 PM - 4:05 PM

Best of GradCon Award Winner: Visual and Performing Arts

As Much for Your Sake is a play devised from letters sent between gay and queer men in the 20th Century as they document their experiences in life, loss, and love. The work highlights the narratives and outlooks of LGBTQ folks in order to give visibility to our vibrant past. An intimate look at these letters in performance allows us to consider how oppression and resistance within the queer community has changed. And yet, in many ways the issues faced by these individuals remain as pertinent today as they did in a time when being gay was illegal, dangerous, and often deadly.

My research began with Rictor Norton’s anthology My Dear Boy, a collection of letters between gay men beginning with Marcus Aurelius in 180 AD. I went through hundreds of correspondences across millennia, searching for throughlines, patterns, and shared experiences. I quickly discovered the mammoth of a project I had before me and simply began putting the letters in order, working meticulously to slowly build a narrative. I honed in on the correspondences from the 20th Century as the language remained more accessible to an audience, allowing me to leave much of the material completely unedited. This type of work in which a performance is built out of found material – in this case written letters – is known as Verbatim Theatre. The product of this effort became As Much For Your Sake.

The play offers visibility to a community whose rich and colorful past remains eclipsed by the larger hegemonic perspective of history. LGBTQ people have always been here and we continue to exist today. However, in 2020, we have the opportunity to claim space in a way that the authors of the letters in My Dear Boy cannot due to a myriad of pressures and obstacles. As Much for Your Sake asks us to consider our place in the construction of the future and what we will leave behind in ten, a hundred, a thousand years. What are we fighting for today that generations yet to come will reap? This Verbatim performance celebrates the past, emphasizing its value and importance in knowing who we are today. However, at its core the three characters in the play – stand-ins for real people in real places having real experiences – remind us that life is a fleeting thing, love is worth fighting for, and we have no guarantee that there will be a tomorrow. All you can do is be grateful for today and proudly embrace your role in the great construction of history.

4:10 PM

The Proximity Principle as used in Blocking 360 Video

David Mills-Low

UC North Ballroom

4:10 PM - 4:25 PM