NEX(US): Hampshire Voices

A well-loved college reaches the breaking point. Financial collapse looms. Students occupy President’s office for 75 days. Students, staff, administration, faculty, employees, trustees, alumni and parents in turmoil. Marty Pottenger’s story circle performance residency at Hampshire College in the fall of 2019 brought the transformative power of listening and creativity to each of these ‘factions’, resulting in an honest, painful, funny, healing performance by/for/about the HC community.

Workshops, interviews, story circles, and a performance residency.

NEX(US): Hampshire Voices brought together Hampshire College students, staff — student life, information technology, facilities and grounds, dining services, academic programs, library, business office — administrators, faculty, alumni, and Board of Trustees to share stories, listen to one another, make space for differences and find common ground.

This week-long residency included story circles, interviews, workshops and culminated in a workshop/performance at Engage! Community Day of Education on Thursday, October 24th. Community members did not have to perform to participate in the process, and there were multiple ways to participate.

What was last year like for you?
What’s it like to be here now?
What’s something you love about Hampshire?
What’s a fear that keeps you up at night?
Who became a friend?
Who is someone you feel you lost?
What do you want us to hold on to as Hampshire College transforms?

NEX(US): Hampshire Voices was a ‘Reality-Theater Production” created from interviews and story circles with Hampshire College community/ies by nationally acclaimed theater artist and activist Marty Pottenger, who puts art to work on real-life issues.

“It is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. Without community there is no liberation…but community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist.”
– Audre Lorde