Hello! My name is Gwen Hornig and I am a rising senior in Gallatin developing a concentration (currently) titled Theatre of War.
My research project, War: The Human Experience, is an extrapolation from a collaborative creative endeavor in the Spring that culminated in a dramatic performance at the Gallatin Arts Festival titled, Theatre of War Series. The performance was the result of scattered research throughout the semester. We interviewed a couple veterans, read some war plays, and watched some movies. From that research, my collaborator and I wrote, directed, and acted in a three-part showcase of material rooted in the information we had gathered and the questions fueling our intellectual and artistic endeavor.
As we developed the piece in the Spring, I realized that the major questions framing our interests were much too large and complex to address in the short development time that we had. I realized that I still did not have the empathetic understanding I desired, and needed, in order to write and perform a piece that engaged truthfully and respectfully with the stories shared with us. So I embarked on a new research project, void of a creative agenda (for the time being), that would allow me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the stories and experiences of those who have served in the American military.
Thus far, I have interviewed five veterans who served in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, respectively. I have spoken to individuals whose lives were affected by family members who served in the military. I have been in contact with organizations like Arts in the Armed Forces and Theater of War about the work they do with veterans. Recently, I returned to the states after a two-week long trip in Europe where I attended a festival in London called Women and War and gallivanted around Berlin to various memorials and museums dedicated to World War II.
In my future blog posts, I plan to write in-depth about the content of these interviews and my adventures in Europe. Stay tuned!