Professor-written play prompts participation

Eric Stones

“82,769 Signatures” is sure to get everyone thinking critically about their responsibilities as voters and how their decisions can affect the world.

It has been described as an exploration of the world of politics. The play is based on the Oregon citizen initiative, which is the process where an individual can collect signatures from voters in order to propose a change to state law.

The citizen initiative has had a large impact on the topics people vote on. Issues such as gay rights, land use, taxes, physician-assisted suicide and education have all been influenced by this process.

Director and associate professor of communication arts and director of forensics Jackson Miller wrote the play.

He said he hopes it will make students think more critically about politics overall.

“It has been very enjoyable, but it’s a crazy way to start the semester,” Miller said. “You know, we’ve had three-hour rehearsals every night to prepare, it’s very tiring but it’s worth it.”

Through his work, Miller said he hopes make everyone think about their voting choices.

Senior Matthew Cantelon has been working with Miller on the play.

“It’s been a really fun process, it’s a really different kind of interactive theater,” Cantelon said.

Cantelon talked about how the audience will be a big part of the performance as a whole. At one point in the play, two actors simulate a conflict and audience members step in to resolve it.

At another point audience members volunteer conflicts from their lives and the actors act them out.

When asked if he was nervous about improvising a performance he simply said they rehearsed it and he is excited to see how it will turn out in front of an audience.

“I hope people can see how they’ve made a difference on some pretty big issues,” he said.

Opening night of“82,769 Signatures” is Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. in Marshall Theater of Ford Hall, and it will run for three days. The play is general admittance so buy tickets early to ensure a seat.

The box office opens Sept. 24.

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