2022’s PERF 481 capstone class presented eleven projects, ranging from installations to films, papers, performances, lectures, and workshops that focused on identities, cultures, art, and the impact that internal and external factors have on our lives.
Two installations elicited nostalgia in their viewers through physical objects and settings: Joshua Carley’s Dear Genius was a walk-through experience centered around the work of children’s book editor, Ursula Nordstrom. Grace Harmon’s Wrong Generation transformed a small classroom space into a 1970s living room designed to both comfort and intrigue.
Riley Cameron created an education and outreach tool through the abstract film, “Untitled,” which leveraged layered visuals, quick cuts, and disjointed audio to recreate a feeling of dissociation. Ben Douglas presented a short film, “The Inner Workings of Ordering a Latte while Neurodivergent.”
Two projects used ethnographic observations to guide their content. “Cushion,” a film by Hannah Bryant and Harrison Daniels, was inspired by the awkward jump from friendship to romance. Alex Cordova designed and led a tabletop roleplaying game that became “Vlei Leer: A Real Play Podcast of a D&D Game by and about Texas A&M Students.”
Phelan Duplessis’ lecture “Playing the Score: A Ludomusicological Analysis of Video Games” took a player-first approach to explore the effects music has on the gaming experience. Andy Carter investigated the efficacy of punk music as a political statement in his lecture, “The Politics of Punk: A Case Study of Two Bands.”
Workshops invited attendees to participate by, first, designing a lighting scheme in Elena Krawczyk’s “Learning Lights: A Lecture and Workshop on Stage Lighting,” and then enacting critical adaptations in Andrea “Angie” Moore’s “(Un)Creating Successful Stories: An Improvisational Devising Workshop.”
“To the Moon and Back: A Theatrical Conversation with Georges Méliès’ ‘Le Voyage dans la Lune’” by Olivia Parker was a devised performance exploring gender, race, colonialism, and identity in conversation with the early film, “A Trip to the Moon” (1902).
Having completed their Performance Studies major, the graduating seniors hope to continue following their dreams by working in graphic design, publishing, and at museums; becoming educators, recording technicians, and children’s theatre directors; and attending graduate school for Library Science, Acting, Contemporary Performance, Public Management and other fields.