What: TheatreQuest's "Taking It Outside"
When: 6 p.m. today, April 25
Where: Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View
Admission: Free to high school students and their parents; $9.95 all others
Website: www.huntermuseum.org/events, www.TheatreCentre.com
Young actors and playwrights in the Chattanooga Theatre Centre's TheatreQuest program will present a series of theater pieces inspired by sculpture in a Hunter Happens program tonight, April 25.
Presented annually since 2005, "Taking It Outside" has become a popular part of the weekly series at the Hunter Museum of American Art. The program combines theater, visual arts and audience interaction in a multigeneration context.
"TheatreQuest members take an art piece and create theater around it," explains Chuck Tuttle, director of education for the CTC. "The actors make themselves a conduit between art and the audience and maybe change the viewers' perspective, causing them to rethink the art."
Adds Adera Causey, curator of education at the Hunter: "I have worked with programs like this with college students and adults in previous museums, but working with these high school students has added a level of excitement and vibrancy to the program. It reflects the wealth of talent and passion of Chattanooga's theater community here."
Causey says she has been "consistently amazed by the depth of insight in interpretation and the exceptional performances presented by each new group of TheatreQuest students."
CTC Executive Director George Quick says he was impressed when he first saw "Taking It Outside" in spring 2009.
"I thought at the time that this was one of the most unexpected things to find in Chattanooga," he says. "This is something you might see at a museum in Los Angeles or New York or San Francisco. The fact that these are teenagers doing this work is very exciting."
This year, as the performances move outdoors where the sculpture is located, the ambient noise creates an additional challenge for the troupe, a group of actors and writers 13 to 19 years old who love theater and are interested in it as a vocation.
"Because we're outside, the performance will be essentially wordless," says Tuttle. "Can you tell a story without words? How do you show more? It will be an interesting challenge."