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One-Woman Show Explores Faces Of America

November 3, 2010 - Other News
“The New Faces of America,” a one-woman show that speaks to contemporary social and diversity issues, will be performed at Wheeling Jesuit University, Bethany College, and West Virginia Northern Community College.

Free and open to the public, the show is “about what it is like for college students to live and thrive in a multicultural America.” As described by Will & Company, the Los Angeles-based theatrical troupe which created the piece, the show is “a perfect event for people to discuss current diversity and social issues in America. We present characters taken from real interviews of seven people with incredibly different backgrounds.”

The show will be offered at 7 p.m., Nov. 9, in the CET Discovery Center on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit; at 8 p.m., Nov. 10, in Renner II in Phillips Hall on the Bethany College campus, and two performances at noon and at 7 p.m., Nov. 11, in the B&O Building auditorium at the WVNCC downtown Wheeling campus. All performances are free and open to the public along with students, faculty, and staff at the higher education institutions.

The show was made possible in part through a grant awarded to West Virginia Northern by the state Higher Education Policy Commission’s Social Justice Initiatives program. WVNCC submitted the grant proposal with letters of support from Bethany and WJU.

Called “groundbreakingly contemporary,” the New Faces show examines current issues which relate to people across the country though a multi-media experience that merges video presentations with a live performer. In addition to the performance, the troupe interacts with the audience in a post-show discussion.

New Faces tells the stories of: a female biracial college student, a southern gay minister, a young female veteran from the Iraq war, a native american teenager, a young migrant worker, an appalachian college student, and a deaf African-American.

Will & Company is a not-for-profit theater ensemble based in Los Angeles and touring the nation. Founded by Artistic Director Colin Cox in 1988, Will & Company began primarily as a troupe dedicated to making Shakespeare accessible to under-represented communities. Throughout the years, its output has extended to include contemporary works which blend educational and historical material with entertainment.

A Will & Company spokesman said, “Based in the most multicultural city of Los Angeles, our casting choices are not ‘color blind,’ but rather ‘color-full,’ creating an artistic utopia whereby the best actor for each part is cast regardless of ethnicity, gender or ability. We are believers in art for social change and choose work that can facilitate this goal.”

In discussing whether the show is appropriate for children, the troupe explained, “The New Faces is based on fact, contains some issues of violence in American history as well as topics some may see as inappropriate for younger children. The most appropriate age would be high school and above.”


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Actress Natalya Oliver