Eastern Michigan University’s Interpretation and Performance Studies program hosted its monthly Performance Hour from 4-5 p.m. Oct. 22, in room 125 Quirk with the theme of Masks.
The Performance Hour gave undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, the opportunity to perform any form of art—including acting, singing and dance—as long as it fit the monthly theme.
“Performance Hour is a wonderful opportunity for people who have the ambition to perform, but don’t have the chance to perform something personal to them in front of an audience,” said Jacob Dailey, a junior studying communication with an emphasis in interpretation.
Dailey co-hosted the performance hour along with Nick Casella, a senior studying theatre.
“This is a great way to hear audience feedback on a performance that isn’t pre-scripted, which is what a lot of the performers are used to,” said Casella.
The performances for Masks included Tommy Barker (singing), Kaitie Taylor (dramatic interpretation), Mike Neal (prose interpretation), Joshua Thorington (vocals and guitar) and Carmel Rechnitzer (monologue ramble).
Besides the theme of Masks fitting the month of October with Halloween just around the corner, Masks had an underlying theme of self-identity and the perception one has with that identity and the world around them.
Mike Neal, a sophomore studying communication and Japanese language and culture, performed a piece titled “Hide and Seek” by Daniel Enjay Wong. It tells a story about a young man whose relationship is very important with his mother, but the young man’s face resembles the father who is no longer in their life.
“The young man must not look like this father and change his identity in order to gain his mother’s full love and respect,” said Neal.
Most of the performers at this Performance Hour were new faces to the event, never performing in front of EMU students before.
“I just love performing, but I’m very nervous,” said Kaitie Taylor, a freshman studying communications media and theatre arts. “I actually agreed to Performance Hour the night before.”
Taylor’s performance is a dramatic interpretation of Frozen by Bryony Lavery, a sad script about the process of letting go when a child dies.
Performance Hour: Masks was a full house performance with many audience members standing in the back.
Throughout the whole performance, the audience gave each performer their undivided attention—the room silent—followed by a roaring applause when the performances ended.
“I really thought it was fun…I’m in an interpretive reading class, so I thought it was great being able to relate what I’m learning in class,” said Genevieve Moore, a freshman in the apparel and textile merchandising program.
The next Performance Hour will be Nov. 19, 2015 from 4-5 p.m. with the theme “Winter is Coming,” followed by a Performance Hour Dec. 3, 2015 with the theme “Closure.”
Any students or faculty interested in performing can contact Elizabeth Shaffer, director of Performance Hour, at email@example.com for more details.