Who we’re supposed to be

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Curtis Bodiker, director of Manifesto Theatre's play "Supposed to Be," said he wanted to have the opportunity to work in a professional setting as well as give a voice to an oppressed group of people (Mary Harbert/The Mirror)

As the student production of the original play “Supposed to Be” finishes their first dress rehearsal, the full cast walks to the front of the stage. Each member is dressed in a different color shirt and arranged according to the rainbow. In the center, an angel in drag gives a triumphant, final speech about acceptance and togetherness in the LGBTQ community.

Dress rehearsals for UNC’s Manifesto Theatre’s “Supposed to Be” started Monday at the Union Colony Civic Center. The student theater group was able to manifest their vision to the Greeley stage through the’s Studio Season program. According to Curtis Bodiker, a sophomore theatre education major and the director of the play, the program allows student theater groups to pitch ideas to a group of faculty members and students from the Theatre Arts and Dance department and. If approved, the auditioning group’s play gets to be showcased in one of Greeley’s theaters. The student improvisational theater group, Chaos, was able to perform at the Moxi Theater through the same program in October.

“It’s this really cool opportunity for students to get out there in the Greeley community to make art at a more professional level,” Bodiker said.

UNC theater majors Morgan Carr and Eduardo Chavez co-wrote the devised piece, a type of play that is created with a specific topic in mind, with fluid and open collaboration of everyone involved. Carr and Chavez created a series of prompts together and had cast members fill them out to flesh out the story. The prompts centered on LGBTQ topics, particularly coming out stories. Carr and Chavez wrote two separate scripts in preparation for the play and the final product was a combination of their two scripts.

The play is composed of four prominent characters representing individuals who identify as being gay, asexual, nonbinary and bisexual. Each lead–dressed in light blue, blue, dark green and green–identifies with the identity of their main character as to provide a voice and the best representation for members of the LGBT community.

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“We both felt, Eddie and I, that it was really important to have that truthful testimony portraying those characters,” Carr said. “Because even in our own experience, we feel as though nobody can tell a more truthful story than those who have actually lived it.”

Chavez performs in the play as a drag queen angel, who watches over the LGBTQ characters facing discrimination in the forms of homophobia, bullying and outright abuse because of their identities. According to Chavez, his character is based on the angel, Chamuel, who is an angel of pure love and protection.  

Brainstorming for the play began in November, and it was written and developed over winter break. The play was ready for rehearsals a little after the first of the year, with great effort and collaboration between the cast and crew.

“Supposed to Be” is showing at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday at the Hensel-Phelps Theater in the Union Colony Civic Center, 701 10th Ave. Admission is free, but donations of five to ten dollars are encouraged.

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