At that time, Artistic Director Heather Bodie was leading a residency at the school. Heather taught a class on the methodology of Erasing the Distance in fall of 2017. The class collected 22 stories, including stories from two teachers, two graduate students, and one alumni. Most of the stories were collected from undergraduate students.
Of the stories collected, 10 were shaped and developed for the stage. The show, Erasing the Distance: Dominican, Chapter Two, was performed in February, 2018. Melanie was instrumental in the production.
Melanie’s involvement with Erasing the Distance has exponentially grown since the residency. We are so grateful she is part of the Erasing the Distance family and decided to take a few moments to ask her about her experiences with our work.
What was your first impression of Erasing the Distance?
When I first become acquainted with Erasing the Distance, I felt like I’d found a buried treasure; a company that marries my first love of psychology, and the study of the mind, with my passions for theatre. When my university announced a residency as part of the final season of my senior year, I was thrilled and decided to integrate myself into the project as much as I could.
How did you initially become involved?
I took the methodology course with Heather, and served as the Assistant Director and Sound Designer on Erasing the Distance: Dominican, Chapter Two.
The entire experience inspired me to seek out more of this type of work. The impact on campus was so striking and so rewarding to me, as both a person and an artist. People had frank, heart-breaking, beautiful conversations about mental health and the human condition, and these are the kinds of conversations I always want to be a part of.
How did your engagement change over time?
From there, the roots grew deeper. Now, I’m Co-Adapter and Stage Manager for the upcoming production That Night, which deals with a man’s experiences during a wrongful conviction and post-exoneration. The work we’ve done has continued to enrich me and the communities we bring them to, and I hope that kind of impact continues to ring out.
Thank you, Melanie! We are so happy you are continuing your work with Erasing the Distance!
That Night opens April 12, 2019 at Stage 773. .