Ben Klein’s senior independent project, titled “The Student,” provides an eclectic view of college experience through a collaboration of mediums and creative minds. His use of student photography, music, and dance, inspired by themes from Freshman Studies literature, bridges the departmental gaps and appeals to a diverse audience of students and faculty.
“I wanted to create a collaboration between studio art students, conservatory students, theater students, and students who are involved in extra-curricular dance,” commented Klein.
While the initial concept for the project was Klein’s, the creation of the piece was a collective effort between other students and teachers, including Matt Von Ohlen, Megan O’Connor, Tim Troy, and Amy Hober.
“I just wanted to create a project that would tie in all the elements on campus,” explained Klein, who mentioned that the interdepartmental communication deficit was one reason for his effort to create a project fueled by diverse sources, both artistic and academic in nature. “I wanted to create a picture of college life and smile at it, frown at it, and laugh at it, and have other people do that with me,” shared Klein.
The visual aspect of the project features student photography of subjects distinct to Lawrence. These images will be projected onto the wall of the Wriston Amphitheatre.
The music to which the performance will be set is an original composition of Klein’s. The composition is a rough musical structure over which the musicians added improvisational material to elaborate on Klein’s foundational themes. The instruments featured range from accordion to computer.
The dancers will perform their choreography just in front of the projected images. The performance includes around 20 volunteers.
Klein used several texts from Lawrence’s Freshman Studies program (Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chuang Tzu, and Plato’s The Republic) as inspiration for the themes conveyed in the visual, musical, and physical expressions of his project.
The single performance of this project will be held in the Wriston Amphitheatre on Tuesday, June 10 from 9:30-10:00 p.m. and would serve as a pleasant study break during finals week as well as a farewell overview of time spent at Lawrence for those graduating.
“I definitely think it is a performance that can be enjoyed by everyone on campus,” encouraged Klein.