As the 5 year anniversary of the Virginia Tech Massacre approaches, students from all fields of study gather together to commemorate the tragic event with Erik Ehn’s play What A Stranger May Know. The play itself focuses on the lives of each victim rather than discussing the violence of the massacre. Each Whittier College student will be reading a play about one of the 32 individuals whose lives were lost. No one play will be the same. This event will be a truly unique watching and listening experience. According to Ehn, “The performance functions as a kind of zen-garden in language – an experience that audience members navigate for themselves, moving through a field of readings, slowing to meditate on the lives of the lost, leaning into commemoration as best we can across the great distances in our human family.”

Click here to read the press release

The students and I who are participating in What A Stranger May Know rehearsed for the very first time today. It was a powerful experience to say the least. Standing outside with all the other students and reading the play was incredible. Upon reading the play for the first time, I found it to be slightly difficult to understand. But the more I read and researched my character, I began to see the true beauty behind the text. As I read the play out loud, I became entranced.

Today, it was interesting to hear the plays being read simultaneously because when everything was put together, the play became more than a series of words with complicated syntax and allusions, it became a relaxing garden of sound, beauty, and poetry. Throughout this process, I felt deeply connected to my “memorialee” and her story. I think this will be a great experience for people to come watch and listen.

The event will take place on Monday April 16, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. near Founder’s Hill and the Campus Inn. Hope you all can come out and share this beautiful experience with your fellow Poets. I will try to get video and pictures of the event up as soon as I can.