Shenandoah Conservatory presents live stream performance

shenandoah universityShenandoah Conservatory partners with The Farm Theater to present a Facebook live stream performance of “The Hierarchy of Fish” at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 19.

Attendees are invited to participate in a Q&A after the free live event.

When a prominent professor at a liberal arts college refuses to use a student’s preferred pronoun, it unleashes an intense battle over political correctness. A slur is painted on a door, a slushie is hurled into a professor’s face and the students struggle to find the line between freedom of speech and the freedom to be their authentic selves.

The new play is written by Judith Leora and directed by Director of Acting and Associate Professor of Theatre Scott Hudson, M.F.A. The performance will be live streamed from The Farm Theater’s Facebook page and shared on Shenandoah Conservatory’s Facebook page as well. There is no intermission during the approximately 2-hour event.

Last year, Shenandoah Conservatory’s Theatre Division began collaborating with The Farm Theater, a New York City-based nonprofit whose mission is to “cultivate early career artists through workshops, productions, and mentoring.” The Farm Theater runs College Collaboration, a special program dedicated to collaborating with three schools to commission and produce work throughout the academic year.

The Farm Theater was founded by Visiting Guest Artist and Adjunct Associate Professor of Theatre Padraic Lillis, B.A., who is a huge baseball fan. The Farm Theater partners with three colleges each year to collaborate with a commissioned playwright. Each school has the opportunity to work directly with the playwright for a few days.

Shenandoah Conservatory began working with Leora in February 2019. Her topic of interest is free speech/hate speech on college campuses. Shenandoah students shared their thoughts with her, and she discussed the topic with students at other colleges as well. She submitted her first draft of the script in August 2019. That month, a small group of theatre students traveled to New York City to participate in a workshopping of the first draft. The participants engaged in the development of the new work by reading stage directions, asking questions in a Q&A session, and providing additional feedback through various conversations with the playwright.

A final workshop will be presented at a public reading in New York City (pending further COVID-19 restrictions). Selected actors and creative developers from each of the participating schools will be invited to participate in the performance produced by The Farm Theater. The play is then open to other early career theatre companies, producers or other entities who may want to take it to its very first professional development and world premiere.

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