Communication Crisis Portrayed on the Stage

Photo Credit / Amanda Berry “Theater of Opressed” highlights how issues aren’t solved through simple changes by taking multiple suggestions from the audience.

By Amanda Berry

Staff Writer

The room fills with laughter and smiles plastered on student and staff faces as the performers joke around on stage.

Last Tuesday, East Stroudsburg University students, along with Lisa Jo Epstein, put on a show called “Theater of Oppressed.”

Epstein wanted to show students and staff things that are wrong on campus, or often go undiscussed.

The first portion of the show was students acting out scenes that happen here on campus, all while asking the audience what they saw go wrong.

The actors portrayed scenes of drug abuse, lack of communication between school administrators and students, LBGTQ issues, and other similar social issues that happen on campus.

In most of the scenes, there was someone being left out or mistreated by other students on campus. Epstein would ask the audience what they would have done differently in this situation, and have the actors portray the scene without straying from character, to see if the suggestions would fix the problem.

Epstein had trained the actors to each have specific characters, so that it would make it more realistic. This way when the audience would get involved and make suggestions on how to change the outcome of the situations, it would not be such an easy fix.

Often times the suggestions did not work out how students were hoping to. Epstein was trying to show everyone that these issues do not have an easy fix, and they go unaddressed.

It is important that students and staff work together to build a community on campus, and are aware of the social issues occurring to ensure that nobody is being left out or mistreated.

Another one of the scenes was similar to that of the stabbing that happened on campus in January. While many students were aware of the incident shortly after it happened, there was no official statement made by the school until a day or two later. This was to show that there is indeed a lack of communication between school officials and students, and this too should not go unaddressed.

The student actors did a good job of portraying the scenes, and getting those in the audience to see what goes wrong.

They would try and get them to find solutions to these everyday problems here on campus. Everybody had to work together in order to achieve the best and most ideal outcome.

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