This project was funded by the ReDesigning Theater Seed Grant
Violet: The Musical, tells the story of a woman who travels cross-country to seek treatment for a wound inflicted in her childhood. Originally produced in 1997 and set in the 1964 South, Violet is meant to be staged as though the characters are on a bus. So it made perfect sense to transform the audience experience by putting them on an actual bus and driving them around campus. During this experience, the characters were actually in that authentic environment, along with the audience, such that the audience could understand Violet’s journey first-hand. Instead of traveling cross-country, the bus stopped at campus locations where certain scenes were performed off the bus.
“We have a phenomenal grant program [at Stanford] called ReDesigning Theater, through which they encourage students to come up with ideas that are innovative and pushing the boundaries of theatre. Last spring, I was really inspired by the work going on at the American Repertory Theater — and all work all over the world that expands the boundaries of theatre via reinventing this ‘relationship’ with the audience — and wanted to do something that would push that,” director Cannold told Playbill.com. “I had always been a fan of the musical Violet. I adore the music and was listening to [it] one night and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be really cool if this musical, which is about a woman on a bus, was actually put on a bus?’ and flushed out the idea from there. [Producers Kelly Gregg and Brandon Powell] came on board, and everything got rolling…” Read more at PLAYBILL
““Violet: The Musical” explores important questions not only about our societal values but also about the way we approach theater. Audience members do not simply watch “Violet”; they experience it.” Read more at The Stanford Daily
Theater Seed Project – Sammi Cannold, produced by At the Fountain Theatricals