Students rally for their theater education

Now these students are committed to their art form.

MPR’s Euan Kerr recently visited a rehearsal of the University of Minnesota’s production of The War Within/All’s Fair.

There he found out that a couple of years ago the students actually went to Dominique Serrand (former artistic director of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, co-founder of The Moving Company) and offered to pay him out of their pockets to coach them in physical comedy.

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Since then the arrangement has become much more formalized. The university hired The Moving Company artistic team (Serrand, Steve Epp and Nathan Keepers) to develop a show — alongside the students — through improvisation. And thus came to be “The War Within/All’s Fair.

“There’s not a big agenda, or political didactic statement we are looking to make,” said Steve Epp. “We are in a sense trying to celebrate the humanity and stupidity and ridiculous qualities that come out of that.”

The students are engrossed in what they are doing, but they also admit to being a little mystified.

“People keep on asking what the show is all about,” said one actor.

“How long is it? What’s it going to be? You’ve just got to be, ‘I don’t know,'” said another.

Yet they have confidence in what they are doing, and in the guidance they’re receiving from Serrand, Epp and Keepers.

“They are geniuses,” said one student. “They know exactly what they are doing. This is their craft.”

“Except you don’t understand what they are doing,” another said with a laugh.

Find out what their improvisation evolved into by listening to the story below:

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