ISLA VISTA — The UCSB Department of Theater and Dance will present a series of short plays titled “Generations,” starting Thursday.
The show, devised by UCSB’s theater students and directed by Annie Torsiglieri, opens at 7 p.m. Thursday via Zoom. It runs through Nov. 21. Viewed as an “intimate piece of historical fiction,” the show will seek to honor past ancestors and learn from their resilience, according to a news release.
The production examines the stories of the performers’ ancestors and lineage, both real and imagined. Through interviews, research, and guided improvisation, the performers have delved into the past to both learn from it, and find gratitude and perspective in the challenges their families have faced. “Generations” will share stories from Poland, Latvia, Mexico, India, and beyond.
In an increasingly distanced world, the making of “Generations” has provided a much needed sense of art and community to the creative team.
“The students become the ancestors to tell their stories, and there’s an intimacy to meeting these ancestors,” Ms. Torsiglieri said in a statement. “And we need community and art more than ever — because of quarantine, and because of the state of our world.”
Ms. Torsiglieri feels honored to get to meet these people from the past through their great great great grandchildren, and hopes the audience will feel the intimacy of the story-telling as well when they too get to take a peek into the past.
“Our past generations have survived and flourished, and so can we,” she said. “We can gather strength from their stories.”
Shows are planned at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with an additional showing at 1 p.m. Saturday. The production is free to everyone, and the viewing link is available online at www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu.
— Mitchell White