JMU is well known for its stellar theater department and the always impressive Forbes Center where these students learn their craft. This top notch facility hosts dramas, musical theater, and innovative performances of all kinds. It’s the type of place that’s so sleek you feel sort of cooler just going in there.
I had seen a few performances in the various theaters located in Forbes during my freshman and sophomore years, but hadn’t visited the center in what seemed like a long time. So when I learned that a former roommate of mine, JMU English and Theater graduate Adrian Tafesh was returning to Harrisonburg to take part in a special collaborative performance at Forbes, I made sure not to miss out.
I am very glad I didn’t. The performance, part of a collaboration between contemporary composer Roger Reynolds, videographer Ross Karre and the JACK string quartet, was the first part of the ongoing FLiGHT Project. Combining video projections, a surround sound stereo system, audio manipulations, live acting and of course string music, the FLiGHT project was a truly mesmerizing experience. I had never seen such a unique approach to
a theater setting. The piece explored mankind’s fascination with the concept of flying spanning from early history to modern technology, but really the best part was experiencing all these different components whirling around the room in a sort of sensory overload.
It was also especially impressive to see a JMU graduate at work within his field. Any student considering coming to JMU to enter its theater department should see Mr. Tafesh or any other of these talented actors perform and that should be all the convincing you need. As for current students, make sure that you attend some theater productions during your time at JMU.
Read some more about The FLiGHT Project here
For more information on the Forbes Center, head over to their website
And anyone interested in JMU’s Theater Department