Creative alums connect with student artists for mutual feedback

As part of the premiere of the multimedia production “The Wandering” at Yale, the creative team workshopped the show with a group of 13 Yale undergraduate and graduate students to help perfect the various elements of the piece prior to its April 15 launch.

The current students, in turn, were also invited to submit their own artistic works — centered on themes of queerness, loss, and wonder — to develop them further in sessions with the alumni artists.

The Yale students had responded to a call for submissions advertised by Yale Schwarzman Center, which provided a grant to support the launch of “The Wandering” at Yale. The selected students’ projects range from musical scores to full-length plays. They have since been meeting with their alumni mentors — all members of the creative team for “The Wandering” — in small groups.

Chayton Pabich ’21, who is majoring in theater and performance studies, submitted a couple of play monologues and was paired with Christine Shaw ’14, who shares his interest in devised theater, a process by which a creative team develops a show collaboratively.

I’m always looking for art that breaks forms and tries to re-imagine histories in a certain way,” said Pabich. “It’s been really valuable to work with ‘The Wandering’ team because that’s what they’ve done. Mailing materials to the audience is letting the art move beyond the screen and into people’s homes and day-to-day lives. The augmented reality element to the piece changes our definition of what we think of when we think of traditional theater, and how we can bend and reshape it around an audience’s personal experience.”

Aaron Wade ’22, who is majoring in computer science and psychology, submitted a musical composition called “A Dream of a Life.”

It’s a hybrid piece for piano, string quartet, horn, flute, and clarinet that also features electronic elements,” he explained. “It’s supposed to be a dream of some distant time when wonder and beauty have emerged from sorrow, struggle, and hardship.”

He hopes that new interdisciplinary collaborations might be sparked from his meetings with ‘The Wandering’ team and with current Yale College students who he’s met for the first time through the project.

Our interaction with the students has been very rewarding because their feedback and engagement with the work has really transformed it in important ways,” said Jeremy Weiss, ’15, co-creative director of “The Wandering.” “Now we are offering them sort of ‘artist-in-residence’ program with anyone on our team, and we will workshop their work in return. We hope this leads to new collaborations for the students at Yale and even beyond.”

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