SWARM: Embrace the Discomfort

My name is Ali Cristovich ’18 and I’ve been involved in theatre at Holy Cross since performing in last fall’s production of “Cloud Nine.” I love exploring new genres and performance techniques, so when I heard about SWARM and the kind of work it entailed I was really excited. While others were hesitant to audition because of the unknown, I was only intrigued.

What has it been like preparing for this performance?

I have to be honest, SWARM is unlike anything I could have ever anticipated.  Rehearsals require not only a great time commitment, but also a great deal of focus and concentration. There is no waiting backstage for your turn to hit the stage, you are constantly on your toes (sometimes on skates) and always present to the audience. It’s a much different experience than what I’m used to as an actor, but the end result is fantastic – as you will see soon.

Can you tell us about the audience participation for the show?

I could tell you, but there isn’t much to say, we haven’t had a full audience to work with yet. We’ve had rehearsals with small test audiences, including the CreateLab class to anticipate the reaction with our first real audience on Wednesday. Each time we take the stage in front of a new audience will make each performance even more unpredictable.  We are just as curious as you are to see what will happen.

Tell us what it’s been like working with Troika Ranch.

Dawn and Mark – the co-founders of Troika Ranch – have been a joy to work with.  Mark has an incredible knack for music and special effects, and Dawn never fails to lighten the mood while still keeping us focused on the piece.  I think the best part about working with them is that all of us in the cast have contributed to the making of SWARM: if we felt something could be improved or changed to enhance the experience for everyone, we were able to suggest an idea and test it during rehearsal.  It’s a lot different from a typical theatre production where only the director has that kind of power.  SWARM is just as much our show as it is Dawn and Mark’s.

If you could describe Swarm in one word, what would that be?

Discomfort. We, actors and audience members alike, have all felt it. However, the real beauty of this piece shines when we embrace the awkwardness and confusion and explore new possibilities we might not find inside our comfort zones. SWARM is an invitation to take that step: what you do with it is up to you.

-Alison Cristovich ’18

Members of Troika Ranch, Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello display their art.  Both are working with CreateLab

Members of Troika Ranch, Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello display their art. Both are working with CreateLab

SWARM runs from Nov. 5-7 and Nov. 12-14 at the Fenwick Theatre. Click here to purchase tickets and learn more about this exciting performance.

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