Devised and Directed by Michael Rohd
Scenic Design by Todd Rosenthal and Shawn Ketchum Johnson
Costume Design by Stephanie Cluggish
Lighting Design by Sarah Hughey
Projection Design by Shannon Scrofano
Sound Design by Rick Sims
This show started as an attempt to bring an open discussion of poverty to the Evanston community. We spent nine months with our ensemble of 16 undergrads research, building content, and inventing methods of distributing statistics and information to an audience. What we ended up with was a series of scenes, informational sessions, interactive video interviews, quizzes, and movement pieces that brought up-to-date information about poverty in America to the audience and encouraged them to discuss with each other their ideas and hopes about fixing poverty in America. In the end, they were given the choice to give $5 toward one method of ending poverty-- System Change, Education, Individual Need, Daily Needs, and Making Opportunities. Each night, a charity would receive $1000 based on the most popular choice the audience made.
The costumes for this production were challenging; we wanted to create a unified look for our undergrad actors, without implying economic status, age, or even total uniformity. What I ended up creating, after our nine months together, was an individualized look for each performer based on their real personality, with a unified grey color scheme that would stand out against the warmth of the raw wood of the set. The actors needed the flexibility to transform from leading their audience groups as themselves to being characters in short scenes that illuminated points about contemporary poverty, while still having an overall neutrality that wouldn't sway the audience's opinion.