Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, students and faculty gathered in Cole Memorial Chapel to hear some of Wheaton’s writers describe some of their most personal experiences. (En)Compass, this year’s production of Wheaton Words, directed by senior Milana Meytes ’15, was a collection of performances, monologues and poems that sought to address the topics of sexuality, identity, and relationships.
The night was an experience to be remembered that combined touching emotional rawness with light- hearted comedy. From professors to students, the performers truly poured passion into telling their highly personal stories. Shahd Fahoum ’18 in particularly captured the audience with a piece about her origins in the city of Nazareth, using her piece to explore her identity and how her cultural background has shaped the person she is today.
Student Elizabeth Peterson ’15 touched audience members with her piece “Slow Down”, which served as a tribute to a friend who passed away in a car accident. Needless to say, many tears were shed.
However, the show also included moments of light humor that gave the audience a break from the highly emotional nature of the show. During the intermission, students Jonathan Korns ’16 and Khadim Niang ’15 entertained the audience by passing out popcorn and dancing to disco music while dressed as grandmothers.
The show seemed to be a cathartic experience for the performers, allowing them to put into words and express the experiences that compose their identities. The stories shared in the chapel that night were the ones closest to their hearts, an attempt by the performers to not only connect with the audience but with something inside themselves.
Every piece in this year’s production of Wheaton Words required an immense amount of courage from the actors, and prompted the audience to examine the many ways in which we define ourselves.