Tag Archives: street theater

The Nomads Are In Town: An Interview with Emily Caffery ’10

” I’ve gotten so much better at embracing that uncertainty, and it’s a really fun and freeing attitude to take.”

vagariproject1 - main photo

After you graduate from Wesleyan, you can go the usual route and become a lawyer or a doctor or a barista or whatever. Alternatively, you can join a nomadic street theater troupe and live out of a bus for four months. For now, Emily Caffery ’10 is choosing the latter. She and four other actors, collectively known as The Vagari Project, have been making their way down the East Coast since September, performing on street corners, in parks, and at farmers’ markets along the way. The troupe will be passing through Wesleyan tomorrow, so if you see a group of strangely-dressed individuals making wild gestures outside Usdan, don’t be alarmed. Or be as alarmed as you want; as Caffery notes, the group never knows what kind of audience it’s going to get.

The Vagari Project is the brainchild of Hampshire theater student Forrest Hejkal, who writes in his mission statement that he hopes to experiment with breaking the conventional performer-audience model of theater. The performances are “short comedies mainly in the style of commedia dell’arte, the tradition of street performers of the Italian and French Renaissance (think masks, outlandish characters, and slapstick humor).”

I didn’t get a chance to talk with Caffery in person, but she happily answered my questions by email about what it’s been like on the road (specifically in this awesome bus), her theater experience at Wesleyan, and how she got involved with the project. Read more after the jump.

First Meeting for New Street Theater Troupe

Mica Taliaferro ’11 writes:

Hey Wesleyan, let’s start a street theater troupe this semester! If this sounds like a good idea to you, come to the first meeting. Artists of all mediums as well as writers, thinkers and shouters should find something to contribute here as well as something exciting.  You don’t have to be a “theater” person to engage with people in the public space in a way that’s conscious of its performative aspects. What’s exciting about this medium is that such a wide variety of skills, knowledge and perspectives can make up a part of what we end up doing. I’m also hoping this will run like a collective. For more information, join the Facebook group.

Date: Feb. 7
Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Place: Rehearsal Hall 003