Despite These Marks: An HIV Devised Theatre Piece
As of 2013, it is estimated that approximately 34 million people in the world are living with HIV/AIDS. Because of its status as a life-threatening disease, as well as misconceptions/assumptions associated with the disease, people who live with HIV/AIDS are often stigmatized in societies due to what is deemed as morally unacceptable behavior. Despite campaigns that seek to educate people on the realities of this living disease, many people are still unaware not only of what the disease entails, but also of what it’s like to live with HIV/AIDS.
Written by students Nicole Weerbrouck '14, Josh Dorsheimer '1X and Hal Matroni, Despite These Marks began life as a short devised play and was performed at the 2012-2013 Region II Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Festival judges and audience members alike praised the short play. NYC actor/director Nick Dalton referred to the piece as "The new voice of AIDS".
This project seeks to explore the often-neglected normalcy of persons living with HIV and to expose the hardships they struggle with on a day-to-day basis, both from the disease and from the discrimination faced through the stigmas of HIV. It continues to be expeanded, using real interviews with HIV Positive individuals, their family, friends, and HIV activists as the basis for the script.
Current interviews include: Sean Strub of POZ Magazine, Robert Shuttle of The Sero Project, Joe Norton of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Patrick Ingram of The Poz Life of Patrick, Josh Robbins of I'm Still Josh, Prof. Victor Capecce of Millersville University, and many others.
Despite These Marks will continue to be devised and performed as new interviews take place, with the intention of having as many voices heard in the struggle to end HIV stigma.
Reproducted with permission of EDGE on the Net.