PULLMAN, Wash. — High school students from central Washington will share stories of their own life joys and struggles in a performance entitled “Las Memorias,” 7:30 p.m., Wednesday-Friday, Aug. 16-18, in Daggy Hall’s Jones Theatre.
All three performances are free and open to the public.
The “Las Memorias” performances culminate an annual summer leadership program at WSU, called Performance as Education, http://performance.wsu.edu/, aimed at helping students prepare for college. Each year’s play features new students with new stories to tell.
Combining writing, performance and theatre, the program focuses on building skills that will help students prepare for college.
The 2017 cohort attended a preliminary workshop on campus in June led by WSU theatre faculty Mary Trotter and Benjamin Gonzales. Students worked through drama and team-building exercises, assigned writing tasks and guided discussions designed to help them think critically about leadership and personal narratives.
“I applied for ‘Las Memorias’ because I have always aspired to do great things,” said Claudia Dominguez, a sophomore from Warden. “I feel ‘Las Memorias’ will be something I look back at proudly, not only because of the great experiences, but also the amazing people who I met along the way.”
The students returned to WSU Aug. 8 to begin daily rehearsals leading up to the three public performances, directed by Trotter and working with a script developed by Gonzales based on the students’ personal essays.
Between rehearsals, the students have opportunities to learn about campus organizations and the admissions process.
WSU’s Critical Literacies Achievement and Success Program (CLASP) also partners with Performance as Education to help students with their essays and build confidence in their writing. CLASP helps first-generation, multicultural, low-income and other underrepresented students navigate their educations at WSU.
For many “Las Memorias” performers, the program is giving them their first taste of life on a college campus, from attending the all-campus picnic that kicks off WSU’s academic year to learning from university faculty and working individually and with their peers to achieve goals.
“‘Las Memorias’ has given me an inside look into what college is and what campus life could be,” said Leslie Peña, a senior from Royal City. “‘Las Memorias’ made me believe I could actually succeed in a college setting.”
“‘Las Memorias’ changes every year, but it will always be one thing — impactful,” said Elizabeth Pruneda, a member of the very first Performance as Education cohort in 2008 who has returned each year since 2011 to assist with the program. “The transformation of each individual is remarkable and beautiful!”
“Las Memorias 2017” is presented by the WSU College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with WSU Performing Arts, http://performingarts.wsu.edu, and made possible by the generous sponsorship of Bob and Karen Felton. The Performance as Education program was established in 2008 by John Fraire, then WSU vice president for student affairs.
Parking for all three performances will be available after 5 p.m. without permits or fees in the Green 3 lot directly across the street from Daggy Hall.
- Gail Siegel, WSU Performing Arts, 509/335-8522, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mary Trotter, WSU Performing Arts/CAS, 509/335-7447, email@example.com