If you’re downtown Saturday morning, and see five young people wandering around, don’t worry. They’re taking part in a class exercise called “Environmental Movement.”
It’s a continuation of a class taught last summer by Jens Rasmussen at the Springer Opera House’s Theater Academy.
Rasmussen is always creating new works for his students, and he thinks that this might be an outlet for these young actors who are too young to participate in the No Shame Theater that he started in 2009.
It’s scripted, but it’s a loose kind of dialogue. It will also depend on the people who come out to watch these kids -- Bradley Grover, 15, a freshman at Columbus High School; Kaitlin Moye, 15, a sophomore at Glenwood School; Kayla Felton, 18, a Columbus High senior; Nicki Ammerman, 16, a sophomore at Columbus High and Liz Rodgers, a sophomore at Calvary Christian School.
You might see them climbing the fire stairs in an alley, in the CB&T parking garage, in the empty lot next to the old YMCA building and just hugging a tree on Broadway.
“We use negative space and we’ll come together and play with everything around us,” Bradley said.
Rasmussen said the students will use each other to motivate movement and “create human sculptures around each other.”
While they’re moving, they’ll talk about issues that face them as teenagers, including insecurity and judging each other.
“Environmental Movement” begins on the steps of the Government Center on 10th Street, and then move around downtown, ending back at the Springer. It will take 30 to 45 minutes.
During a recent rehearsal, the students explored how they would use public space.
“I appreciate downtown more,” Kaitlin said. “I see it in a different viewpoint and it makes me appreciate Columbus more.”
They’ve been in alleys where they would normally never venture, Kaitlin said.
“I wouldn’t go to some of these places alone,” Kayla said. But seeing them in daylight makes them less scary.
Nicki said this experience has taught her a different way to communicate.
“I don’t have to use words to see that you can interact with people and the environment and as an ensemble,” she said.