Experimental, original theatre mingles with film

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Aug. 3, 2017 at 4:42 p.m.
Updated Aug. 4, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Before you decide to take a trip out of town this weekend, consider attending a locally-written and produced series of plays, dances and short films.

"Slumber," presented by the Collaborative Theatre Project, features stories authored by the cast and production crew of the experimental, theater collective.

"It weaves together lots of very different short scenes, just like the experience you might have in a night of dreams," said Nina Di Leo, a co-producer of the play.

The Victoria Advocate Editorial Board believes in supporting local artists and new arts organizations in the Crossroads.

The short films to be featured were made by students who are part of the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival summer camp.

"We were excited to be asked to participate in the production," said film camp leader Jake Ramirez. "The kids have put together some great work and had to think hard about how to make a compelling film that only lasts three minutes. It's great to have a screening opportunity for the community to see their work."

Another distinguishing feature part of the production is the placement of the audience's seating on the stage.

"We're bringing the audience onstage with us for a very different experience at the Fine Arts Center," said co-producer Randy Wachtel. "They'll be right up close to the actors. It's all a big experiment."

The Collaborative Theatre Project was formed by local actors and playwrights in 2016 with their production of "Shelter in Place," a play about immigration and a South Texas family.

Part of the group's focus is developing local talent through the opportunity to do some creative writing, Di Leo said.

Di Leo authored "Shelter in Place" and also serves as the executive director of a classical music festival in downtown Victoria.

Other key collaborators include a high school English teacher, several students, a professional photographer, longtime community actors and a theater manager.

There are a total of a dozen people involved, ranging in age from 6 to 69, Di Leo said.

Some stories are comedic, some are dramatic and there's even a dance number.

"It's all tied to the theme of bedtime and dreams and sleep," Di Leo said. "You're going to see very different stories, following one another and having different voices - all in one night - a different author right after another."

Be sure to support this grassroots effort to empower local artists to create unique pieces of work.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.


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