WSU parked in AI! … The City Speaks and Worcester State Listens!

Research meets the stage in this devised theatre production. CitySpeak is a joint project between the Urban Studies and Visual and Performing Arts departments of Worcester State University.

In the fall, an Urban Studies class, linked to a Devised Performance class, interviewed “humans of the city” to hear concerns, and listen to their stories and experiences.

The VPA students and faculty then breathed life into these stories, giving these humans voice through a devised theatre production. The production presents real stories, opening the conversation for change.

WHO: The Visual and Performing Arts and Urban Studies departments of Worcester State University, along with Worcester State Theatre.

WHAT: Teamed up to study the people living in the city and give their stories voice through a devised theatre production.

WHEN: April 7, 8, 9 at 8 p.m. and April 10 at 2 p.m.

Tickets available through BoxOffice@worcester.edu

WHERE: Fuller Theater, Shaughnessy Administration Bldg, WSU Campus

WHY: Exploring ideas that stem from interdisciplinary work, the faculty of the Urban Studies and Visual and Performing Arts departments at Worcester State found a way to cross the work of their students. They asked, “If we could act out the research, give it an image, what would that be like? What would come of it?” What came of it is a performance where Visual and Performing Arts and Urban Studies students combined research and theatre to give voice to the people whose voices are not often heard.

CitySpeak, a pilot program, is an innovative approach to arts-and research-based urban planning and community development.

In Academic Year 16, CitySpeak engaged in a year-long project that began in Fall ’15 with Urban Studies students conducting 54 interviews of Worcester residents about living in the city. Those interviews, evaluated and interpreted by VPA faculty and students, are serving as the basis for an original theatrical production, called CitySpeak, about the disconnect between residents and city leaders.