by Lucie Duffort
The theater was packed for the spoken work performance on November 17. Unsurprising, considering that spoken word provides an unfiltered opportunity for SHC kids to speak their mind and express themselves honestly and openly to an audience, addressing subjects ranging from identity to heartbreak, family to suicide. In fact, not a single adult graced the stage that evening, with the exception of a quick hand from Technical Theater Director Tim Mahoney. Facilitators Christin Kuehl and David Pardini ’80 were both quick to emphasize that spoken word was a night for the students, that it is the expression of self that primes. Student leadership organized, emceed, and supported returning and first-time performers.
The pieces themselves were powerfully personal, sometimes accompanied by grand piano or guitar, mostly solo and stripped bare save the emphasis of voice in prose and poetry. But there were also a couple of wonderfully executed group pieces, one emphasizing personal experience with depression, and another hilariously energized rap performance complete with leaping and dancing across the stage to a Beastie Boys styled beat.
In a darkened theater, taking the stage with one’s own words requires confidence and self awareness.
This type of community event shows such clear support for growing minds and the experience of our students. In a darkened theater, taking the stage with one’s own words requires confidence and self awareness. Performers came dressed in their Irish Friday best, or in party dresses and bright ties, even in uniform straight from basketball practice. Snaps rang out throughout each piece in support of particularly salient lines, and the cheers and applause rang loud and throughout.
New to SHC, this was my first Spoken Word Night, but it won’t be my last. The community turnout and talent onstage was inspiring, to say the least. Go Irish.