Katy Duncan ’17 triggered tears with her play, Terra: An Exploration of Love. Audience members wept when the show debuted at the Glenn Wallichs Theatre in March 2017. Long before that, though, it was the actors who got emotional, as they mined their own memories to create the play’s script.
Duncan, who directed the show as her capstone project, devised Terra using a technique called “Moment Work.” Instead of starting with a text, performers use props or other cues to improvise “moments” around a topic, which over weeks of rehearsal come to form the play.
The show consists of scenes loosely connected through the strong feelings they evoke. A daughter reminisces about the “goofy” dad who always made her laugh; a girl’s thrilling first kiss sparks an allergic reaction in her boyfriend; college students negotiate maddeningly ambiguous attractions.
“Ultimately, I wanted it to be a celebration and reflection of love,” Duncan says.