By Michael Dery
Gaining attention from big media organizations such as Worcester Magazine and Worcester Telegram & Gazette, “City Speak” will spark conversation among the campus, and concerned residents.
Adam Zahler, the department chair of Visual Performing Arts of Worcester State University, teamed up with the Urban Studies Department and made big plans to address general problems of the city of Worcester in an innovative way. Zahler, also the producer, found himself struggling to pick a story to feature in this spring’s play. As he sat in a meeting with other faculty and members of his team, he began grinning widely. Right then and there, his colleagues knew what he wanted to produce.
There is always something to complain about. Some people try to fix problems when complaints arise, but most just add to the problem with more complaining. Zahler knew that if he were to address problems of the city, which happen to be real complaints from residents, that they would have to be brought up in a comical way.
The Visual Performing Arts Department of WSU “is home to a vibrant, collaborative community of artists and scholars.” Not only is the beautiful art of acting apparent in this play, but also the colorfully painted stage, and live music. However, the most artistic and breathtaking part of “City Speak,” is the collaboration of city residents with Urban Studies and VPA of Worcester State.
Some of the issues -or complaints rather, that city residents have contributed to “City Speak,” include littering, children safety, late city busses, drug epidemic, and racism. The play doesn’t only bring up negative issues. It will also address the many small businesses of the city, including family owned shops, and delightful restaurants to dine at, and education, to just name a few.
After each performance, audience members are invited to stay after and participate in a discussion. “I hope that they stay after for the discussion about what it is that they see and that they bring it to their own view of being a resident, whether that’s here in Worcester or in their own hometown, as to what it means to have a relationship with the city and trying to move it forward,” said Zahler.
All students are urged to attend the play and stay for the conversation after because it will be more meaningful. Tickets are $7 for students ($5 with Woo Pass), $10 for senior citizens ($7 with Woo Pass), $14 for general public ($10 with Woo Pass).
Worcester State University Visual Performing Arts is proud to announce the show to the general public. The show has earned the title “City Speak” because of its collaborative effort with average residents of Worcester, MA.
For tickets, call the box office at 508-929-8843.