“A Human Interest Story (Or the Gory Details and All)” is the first performance of the official University of Colorado Boulder’s 2019-2020 theater season, with three shows this weekend. It is an intense drama that focuses on the impact of society’s lack of sensitivity to violence in the media. The performances will be held in the Acting Studio in the University Theatre Building, an intimate location that offers the audience a close-up and personal look into the world of this experimental, socially-relevant drama.
In an interview, cast-member Rita DiSibio explained that their hope for the thought-provoking play is to leave the audience thinking about the way they see violence in the world, stating that “it’s a lot to ask for the audience to do something about it.” In their synopsis of the play, DiSibio spoke about how different media sources like movies, television series and news all have very graphic depictions of violence.
“(The performance) takes a look at that ease of access to all of this violence,” DiSibio said.
The shockingly violent scene that kicks off the play’s plot is based on a true event in the 1990s when a man committed suicide on a live streaming news program. DiSibio said that the outlook and lack of sensitivity to violence have only gotten worse, referencing the rise of mass shootings.
“People in our generation are used (to violence), we just move on with an ‘oh okay,'” DiSibio said.
A Human Interest Story (Or the Gory Details and All) is a realist’s approach to experimental art, with many of the lines being stage directions that are spoken out loud. Because of the unique nature of the text, DiSibio focused on character-building more intensely. Director Issy Leustig said actors built their characters “outside-inward.”
“(The performance) takes a look at that ease of access to all of this violence.”
Rita DiSibio, cast member
“If you embody the physicality of the character, you get how the character is feeling or how they might be saying the lines,” Leustig said.
Similarly, the movements and formations inform the subtext of the play, allowing actors to reference violence without actually being violent. DiSibio explained, “we don’t have any prop guns … because of the small setting and the political climate that we are in … The violence is often more talked about … We have sort of indicators in our movements and formations.” If there was actual violence depicted, the play’s message would be compromised, Leustig said.
The show is running for one weekend in the Acting Studio. All performances are sold out, but there is a waiting list for unclaimed seats. Showtimes are as follows:
Saturday, Sept. 28, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 29, 2 p.m.
More information can be found here.
Contact CU Independent Arts Writer Kaylyn Buehler at firstname.lastname@example.org.