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The Collaboration Problem at the CFA

There is a collaboration problem at the CFA. A problem with the conservatory style training that makes it difficult to know anyone outside of your discipline. Collaboration is beautiful and important. It is how we break traditions and revolutionize. Learn to work with different minds and communicate our ideas to people who may not understand fully where we are coming from.

This past semester, I had the amazing privilege of partaking in three firsts at the College of Fine Arts.

The first: Collaborative Transfigurations, a series of movement pieces performed and Directed by students in the School of Theatre and music created and provided by students in the School of Music.

The second: A Reflection of Heart Melodies, a senior piano performance major, Yui Kitamura’s senior recital, where Yui, a School of Visual Arts major Maya Carlisle-Swedberg, and I created multimedia experiences for the audience coming to listen to Yui’s piano playing.

The third: Axis: A Light and Movement Thesis, my senior thesis in collaboration with Kelly Martin, a Lighting design major. With Maya Carlisle-Swedberg, who designed an interactive sculpture, and Jonathan Berg-Einhorn, a costume design major. We worked with 15 movers to create four movement theatre pieces based off of specific topics. I created a rehearsal room that used prompts that allowed the movers to create their own vocabulary which I then structured and clarified within the story we were telling. This devised work is where I thrive the most currently, I love it!

Two out of the Three of these collaborations were created independently from the school and solely by students (2nd & 3rd). The third collaboration (1st) was initiated by a professor at the college. So, the CFA is not entirely void of collaboration at all! But it does have a problem with how difficult it is schedule wise to communicate with and find time to work. Now, in no way am I stating collaboration should be easy to make happen, but I am saying that it should be easy to find! More opportunities should be made to make it happen! Times are changing at the CFA, I am aware, and I know this is one of the considerations, but it can’t come soon enough.

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About Bev.Does.Life

Theatre Artist and Graduate of the Boston University School of Theatre.

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