A visit to grandpa in an augmented reality. Listening in on an angry plant. Playing a self-care video game. Eavesdropping through someone else’s voicemail.
These real and imagined experiences were but some of the stops on a multimedia experience of grief presented by the Theater, Dance & Media Department online and in a physical installation at the Smith Campus Center last month.
The production, “I Have a Door Up There,” was created by Alice Findlay ’22, Isaac Heller ’23, and Noah Gold ’22, students in the spring production course “New Species: A Hybrid Studio.” The three worked in collaboration with their instructors — multidisciplinary artists Phillip Howze and Tara Ahmadinejad — to develop a three-part, interactive theater experience focused on loss and sorrow. The creators enlisted fellow undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, TDM staff members, and professional actors and designers to create the multiplatform piece.
“Grief is something we’ve all been experiencing in great quantities,” said Howze, a lecturer on playwriting. “To be able to see how this work of art is providing a sense of care and is drawn from the students’ desire to really connect with each other — and also with an audience that they don’t even know — is a real gift.”