Plunge! works with higher education and community service organizations to explore creative angles on important issues.
A Short Story from Plunge Cabaret Theater
Gathered in a room is a microcosm of life - college students in pursuit of higher knowledge with worldly aims and the time and resources to explore them; the staff of the women’s shelter working towards solutions and aid for real life circumstances; victims of domestic violence who, though from all walks of life, now wear the blinders of survival until they are safe to look beyond them...and us, two artists looking to build the bridges between all these different lives. Clearly, this is a room full of potential, particularly in the coming together. But relationships take building and the work ahead is unclear. Where to even begin and how long will it take?
We step to the front of the room and present a song that tells the story of a woman who struggles to survive and, more, to thrive with what she has been handed. When it is done, we ask some questions we have about the woman in the song and what she's trying to say. We try on a few different endings - same words, but different intent. They experiment with the interpretation through theater, tempo and tone. As we do, the others in the room start to question as well. What will the woman in the song decide? And what, really, is her opinion of her situation? Is there a right way to see it? Soon, everyone in the room is thoroughly engaged and it’s almost as though the woman in the song is there right along with them.
In fact, she is there several times over...as student, social worker and victim. The façade of the fictional character fades away easily and now the discussion is about the lives in the room. The stories, decisions, opinions, and hopes. Everyone is a participant and the barriers of role and unfamiliarity have gone quietly away.