A Devised Radio Drama
Directed and scripted by Bruce Avery
A new devised piece drawn from our students’ personal experience during the current pandemic. These will be stories of people learning alone, while also learning to be alone. The actors will be speaking their parts…alone. The auditors will be hearing those parts on their headphones and creating pictures in their imaginations…alone. As the auditors listen by themselves, they will be imagining other people being alone. Perhaps, we will all feel a bit less lonely.
Stage Manager – Sydney Blake
Sound Designer – Pablo Zavala
Sound Engineer – Lana Palmer
Music – Bruce Avery
Production Manager – Deirdre Mountain
Learning Alone is an opportunity for our student actors to tell their own stories, in their own
words, about how the past eight months has changed their lives. Inevitably, college years
invite radical change for students: leaving home, making new friends, moving on from old
ones, embarking on a career….the list is long. Moving through so many transitions can be
rocky in the best of times, and as we all know, 2020 has not brought us the best of times.
How these young people worked through the many challenges of this year, and what they
learned in that effort, is the subject of this radio play.
On the Process
Learning Alone is a devised production. Devised theatre is a term for a process in which
every member of the creative team participates in creating a show from scratch. In live
theatre, that process usually involves intense physicality, innovative light and sound design,
and a script developed during the rehearsal period. Since Learning Alone was crafted in
quarantine, script development was the only tool in our box. Over the past ten weeks, our
actors talked with each other about their experiences of both Covid-19 and a tumultuous
political environment, working from prompts the director wrote to help them shape their
stories. They generated an enormous amount of material: Learning Alone is sixty minutes,
but was whittled down from 327 minutes of dialogue created during rehearsals. In the end,
our hour-long play aims to open a window into the (as of this writing) 5,760 hours of life
each of these actors has lived since the pandemic began.