This year's CU Performing Arts League Special Project, 'CENTO,' is a brand-new devised play constructed entirely by students. As the title suggests, it incorporates external quotations, rather than original dialogue. A work-in-progress since December, the students involved in 'CENTO' used a somewhat unconventional technique to create the show: devising.
In a devised piece, multiple people collaborate in order to create a final script. Instead of a single playwright slaving over a hot keyboard, devised plays often emerge through improvisation exercises -- which is exactly how the cast and crew created 'CENTO.'
Michelle Cheripka, CC '16, is responsible for the show's general outline and compiling the quotations that made it into the final script.
"Michelle created a very rough sketch of what she wanted the plot to look like. With this in mind, we chose improv exercises that would lead to the development of content along those lines," director Zac Collazo, CC '16, said. "Since then, we've been rehearsing it like any other play."
The show was created through improvisation and, coincidentally, the actual plot of the show centers around an improv class. However, the objective of 'CENTO' is to explore the role of individuality and originality.
"Fundamentally, it explores identity, but, all things considered, it's also an exercise in make-believe, comedy and having fun during the process of acting," Collazo said.
'CENTO' runs March 31st and April 1st at 8:00 p.m. in the Lerner Hall Black Box Theatre. Tickets are free and available here.