Shut Up and Listen, Part One

In her DecemberTeacher/Artist column, Shelby-Allison Hibbs writes about the upcoming project from Cry Havoc Theatre, in which silence is golden.

Teenagers. They are in a limbo of sorts, no longer a child, but not considered an adult either. They push towards an identity of their own choosing while also pulled back into what others wish for them. These curious in-betweens want to be daring, to explore uncharted territory on a journey that is as unique and meaningful as they perceive themselves to be. But they are also held back by obstacles outside and within, surging continuously towards autonomy but never quite seeming to reach it.

To capture this experience and give teens a voice of their own, Mara Richards Bim created Cry Havoc Theatre Company. What makes the group unique is the aim of creating complex and provocative theatre, rather than simple or non-intellectually stimulating work.  Their second production, Shut Up and Listen, will perform at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park in January and I am serving as associate director for the project. It’s a devised work modeled on the structure of Belgian theater company Ontroerend Goed’s Once and for All… This physical theatre work, with very little language at all, presents teenagers acting as themselves as if no one is watching. Chaos ensues as we see the group evolve through destruction and anarchy, and reset themselves in unexpected moments. As a work in progress, this column and the next will focus on the development of the project, starting with the first rehearsal.