New Ensemble at Goddard College Performs Body Politic

Goddard Summer Ensemble took Jessicca Goldberg’s play from script to performance in one week. Photo by Kristina Lear.

Goddard Summer Ensemble took Jessicca Goldberg’s play from script to performance in one week. Photo by Kristina Lear.

by Ken Russell

Haybarn Summer Theatre Ensemble (HaSTE) inaugural performance took place at Goddard on Saturday July 13 with a staged reading of Body Politic, by Jessica Goldberg. In one week, actors went from script to performance of Goldberg’s one-act play, which portrays the relationship between a vet of the Iraq War and a reporter.

According to Producer Kristina Lear, “This is not a protest, this is not anti or for the war, this is about a relationship between two different people who are comfortable with their own perceptions of the world, a veteran military professional, and a liberal-minded writer. They have a connection, and they have an opportunity to challenge their perspectives. They get to intimately know somebody who holds ideas and experiences they’ve never come in contact with before that differ so greatly from their own.”

One audience member raved, “Even as a staged reading, Body Politic was professional theater at its best. We are lucky to have such talent in our neighborhood!”

The ensemble is the dream child of central Vermont native Lear and her husband David Warshofsky of the School of Dramatic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC), who wanted a place to incubate new work. The ensemble brings together the visions of the two with Goddard president Barbara Vaccar and her Goddard Art Initiative, or GAI.

According to Lear, “We want to create a place to incubate work, to create new plays. It’s also an opportunity for actors when they get out of school. We like being a space for ideas and creativity, a space where ideas have a chance to grow into the unexpected. We’d like to be able to offer full productions, and to work with Goddard to offer classes. It is a thinking crowd up here, who have an interest in good writing, good storytelling, and good acting.”

Article revised 7/31/13.