Let’s count. One, two, three. Let’s think about PWs I’ve done: First, food Bank; Second, working in a farm; and third, establishing a startup(-ish).
If I think about it, those project weeks are in the areas that I knew I was passionate about. That means, these project weeks didn’t challenge me to my maximum. I knew I loved doing those things. And this term, the scenario is different.
Most of the project weeks being proposed were either skiing or something related with big cities. I have fear of height, so I don’t want to put myself on a situation where I feel uncomfortable for the whole week. Skiing? Crossed. Then, I also believe that you often get distracted in the big cities, so you can’t do your best there. Another one crossed.
Then, it left me with two options: La Machina Fissa and The Laramie Project. La Machina Fissa is basically a project somewhere in France where the students help in the garden of an old reading retreat. I love to do so, but then, I’ve done about similar thing before. And the other option somehow intrigues me a lot, so I decided to cross La Machina Fissa as well.
And here we go: The Laramie Project. So, what is it? It is a theater play. Yes, for those who know me, I chose a theater project and I already performed it. The Laramie Project is a play by Moisés Kaufman that is based on interviews and journal entries that were conducted after a gay student was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, USA. And since it is based on real-life situation, there are over 50 characters in this piece played by ONLY 8 of us. Everyone plays a lot of characters basically, although some only have few lines. And for me, my main character was Jedadiah Schultz – a university student who whose changes are depicted in this play. I also played as a judge, a DJ, a Mormon leader, a priest, etc.
This play is not enjoyable, to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, what I mean is that it is a long emotional play (2 hours 15 minutes). But it is certainly beautiful. It does not force you to adopt a perspective (e.g. pro-LGBT), but rather it unwraps multiple perspectives from different sides: religious people to atheists, old to young, gay to straight – everything. And after playing this theater piece, what I think most of the people in Laramie had learned through this case is, at least, that “in the end of the day, we are all human”.
The preparation for this play was relatively short. All the processes happened only within two weeks, from first reading the script, memorizing the lines, to remembering well where a chair should in a certain moment (they call it “moment” in this play, not scene). Since we didn’t want to get stuck in Freiburg, we went to Pallegney, France (it’s in the middle of nowhere, tbh) to relax and practice in a new atmosphere.
We didn’t only achieve the goals for the performance, but we also had the whole week well-spent. We watched the whole Angels in America, cooked dinners, played games, walked around – it was nice. Another unique thing about this group is that we have two staff members in our group: Emmett and Julia. Emmett was both the proposer of this project week and the director of the play (applause for his success!) while Julia was also performing with us. Somehow, there was this dogma that there will be such awkwardness to spend a long time with staff members, but that’s not true! “In the end of the day, we are all human” – it was very chill!
I made this poster actually, what do you think?
And lastly, the performances. We performed it twice as shown in the poster above, just a week after the project week. I personally performed best in the first one as I didn’t make any mistakes other than the minor ones, but as a group, our best performance was on the second one. We expected to have more audience as we invite people from the city too, but there were still more than 200+ people in both plays which is still great. Many people commented that it was such impressive, moving play, which made us feel rewarded. Some cried, some continued the discussion further.
Before the second play began
Our project week ended the last. We spent the most time compared to the others. Arguably, it was the best project week here and definitely my best one. Not that my other project weeks weren’t good, but because this one challenged me much further and there is a strong sense of tangibility. It was difficult to detach ourselves from the whole thing, but we ended up nicely with ordering pizza and sharing our last thoughts.
Thanks for reading,