During this “JanPlan” exploratory mini-mester, The Department of Theater and Dance was proud to produce two student-led devised works. The first was The Passion Project, which had a preview performance at the Pugh Center on January 25th and had its main run at Portland Stage Company‘s Black Box Theatre on January 30 and 31.

This is the second consecutive year of The Passion Project. For the first incarnation Bess Welden, a long-time Portland theater artist and Teaching Artist at Colby, designed the four-week intensive course to help students step into the role of “storyteller with a purpose” in January 2018. This year students once again generated all of the material through a creative writing process and then brought their stories to life for an audience.

“I know that young people feel deeply passionate about the issues that affect them personally, and are tuned into how these challenges or problems affect their communities,” says Welden. “I wanted to offer them the chance to channel their curiosity, intelligence, energy, and creativity into powerful voices that advocate for change.” Students addressed a wide range of topics such as racism, sexism in STEM disciplines, relationship abuse, sexual assault, the #metoo movement, and body shaming, among others.

The production was developed with support of the Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities as well as the Office of the Provost. Photos from the production are below. Thank you to all who joined us!


Photos credit: Melissa Blackall and Bess Welden

Poster credit: Marjorie Gallant


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