How would the world be affected if the Internet suddenly disappeared over night?
This week, six Keene State College seniors and faculty member Doug Wilcox considered this question and more in the upcoming senior Arts, Theater, and Dance capstone performance, “Meshnet.”
“Meshnet” is an original performance created by six senior students including Erika Kucks, Heather Hunt and Ashley Gage along with help from their professor, Douglas Wilcox, over the course of the semester.
Kucks talked about how the show was made, and said, “We started just by talking over winter break like ‘What are we gonna do?’ ‘Are we gonna do a devised piece?’ ‘Are we gonna do a play?’ And we decided on a devised. And there have definitely been moments where I’m like ‘Oh my Gosh, what are we doing?!’ thinking we should’ve settled on the easier route but we wanted the challenge.”
Hunt agreed with this, and said she’s glad they took on the challenge. She also said it has been very rewarding but not without its struggles, “It was open to us to interpret and create something out of nothing, which is really intimidating. So there were lots of hurdles, but I think the biggest one was that there were six of us and we had no script, we had no design, we basically just had this prompt.”
Wilcox talked about his role in the performance. He said, “The fact that this is devised piece of theater, the initial challenge is that there was no script. We had an idea we wanted to explore but we didn’t have a script, we didn’t have any pieces that were evolved, so through a series of exercises I brought them through, we eventually started to create this production.” He also said this process has helped the students grow by giving them some accountability and has given them a deeper understanding of the internet along with its potential distractions.
Gage talked about how the show has always been evolving. Gage said, “All semester we’ve been writing scenes, we’ve been blocking scenes, we’ve been creating movement pieces that kind of talk about this topic and the different forms of connection. There are mental connections, spiritual connections, physical connections. There’s been a lot of rewrites and we changed the casting last week so there’s been a lot of relearning lines.” Gage said they all feel that every change that they made has been for the best and the show will be better for it.
Kucks and Hunt also mentioned the dedication that every student had to this piece, and said they would often work outside the classroom and people would try their absolute hardest not to miss class. Hunt even said, “This is not a class I can miss,” because of there are only six people in the class.
“Meshnet” will be performed on Thursday and Friday, May 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Redfern Arts Center Wright Theater. Admission will be $3 cash only, but tickets can also be bought online.
Cristian Valentin can be contacted at