Asolo project tackles diversity in ‘Faces of Change’

By Daisy Talbert

Asolo rep performers share local community members’ experiences with nontraditional marriage in "Faces of Change."
Asolo rep performers share local community members’ experiences with nontraditional marriage in “Faces of Change.”

The Asolo Repertory Theatre visited New College April 12 to present its annual community-based documentary theater program, with “Faces of Change,” which discussed nontraditional marriages, including LGBTQ, interracial and multi-religious relationships.

“My main objective with this project is to get people talking to each other, to provide an opportunity for conversation,” says director Ria Cooper, community engagement specialist and veteran of Asolo Rep.

Performers reenacted transcribed conversations between local couples, families and individuals, with a focus on nontraditional families and relationships. “Faces of Change” aims to engage communities in conversation and connect people of all backgrounds through theater.

“The topic is different every year,” continued Cooper. “The first year it was about local homelessness, so I was able to work with different populations who were either local homelessness services outreach providers, or people who were homeless themselves at the time. The next year it was about religion and faith, so I was able to work with some different churches and synagogues and the mosque here in Sarasota.”

Cooper plans to engage a variety of communities in future projects, including New College, and hopes to hold another performance at the college next year.

New College students Rosemary Demarco and Kayla Hunter worked on the production as project assistants and script team members. The performance in the Sudakoff Conference Center was followed by a question-and-answer session with the performers. For information on future “Faces of Change” productions or questions about other upcoming performances, visit the Asolo Repertory Theatre website.

— Daisy Talbert is an intern at the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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