The College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) acting department will host “Association of Controlled Dreamers,” the final show of its 2018-19 studio series, April 25-27.
MJ Kaufman, a staff writer on the Netflix original series “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” was commissioned by CCM to write the play for the summer Playwrights Workshop in 2017. Audiences who attend the show this weekend will be the first to see the fully staged version.
“Association of Controlled Dreamers” examines activism and the government in relation to college students who want change and aren’t afraid to make their voices heard. A young senator is pushing policies that could have long-lasting effects on public education, and when college students hear about his efforts, they do everything in their power to convince him to change his mind.
“The play also resonates with our current political and educational circumstances in that many college students feel as though they have little power over the institutions that rule their worlds,” said Brant Russel, the show’s director. “If students wish to be heard, they sometimes have to resort to less traditional means of communication.”
The story sheds a light on marginalized groups on college campuses and amplifies their voices, said acting student Briley Oakley.
“Working on this show has just confirmed my beliefs on how important it is to listen to one another, no matter your own political ideals,” Oakley said. “When people stop listening to each other and are only trying to work for their own benefit, that is when the most problems arise.”
The show does not overlook how the prevalence of technology impacts the contemporary political environment.
“Every day, as technology becomes more a part of everyday lives, young people who utilize it have the power and ability to organize and make our voices heard,” said cast member Paige Jordan.
Since the show is a premiere, the cast has worked closely with the creatives and director to create it from the ground up. It was both the most rewarding and challenging aspect of the rehearsal process, Jordan and Oakley said.
“When a show has never been done before, building a character from the ground up can be overwhelming,” Jordan said. “Having to create your character without a preconceived notion of them is very new and a struggle for me personally.”
“Working with 20+ voices on this production to create the world can get hectic, but it is so beautiful to watch what we have created as a team,” Oakley said.
Tickets to “Association of Controlled Dreamers” are free, but reservations can be made starting April 22 at 12:30 p.m. To make reservations, click or tap here, or call the box office at 513-556-4183.