Wonderlust Theatre Company Sparks Conversation Through Performance

While we’ve all heard of performances from Penn State Thespians or No Refund Theatre, new organization Wonderlust Theatre Company aims to spark honest conversation about real issues through its performances.

Theatre students Kameron Villavicencio and Fiona Winch founded Wonderlust last fall after taking a class taught by Professor Natalie Robichaux focused on the question “What makes me enough?” and answering it through art.

“We took turns ringing in pieces of art that answered the question in our terms,” Winch said, “and at the end of the semester we wrote and created pieces of theatre in groups that summed up our experience with living this question.”

After performing their piece at “Cultural Conversations: Body Talk”, Winch and Villavicencio discovered their passion for using theatre to “live the question” and asked Robichaux to advise the new organization. According to its mission, Wonderlust was founded “to explore life’s illimitable questions through published and original works by company members made up of actors, directors and theater techs.”

This type of conversation sets Wonderlust apart from the other performance groups on campus. After every performance, the company holds a “talk back session” for audience members to discuss the topic or question from the performance.

Wonderlust’s first show of the semester is a romantic comedy called “The Feels” and will be performed October 14 and 15 in Studio 119 of the Theatre Building. The company will also participate in the 28 Hours project on October 29, which is a collection of one-minute plays concerning race relations in America, split into pieces and directed by students and professors.

In November, Wonderlust will hold a workshop on writing for the stage in conjunction with the Performing Arts Council and a Thanksgiving Cabaret based on the question “What are you thankful for?” before break. The group’s second show of the semester, “The Waiting Room”, will be performed in December.

Students interested in writing, directing, or acting with Wonderlust can e-mail the company at [email protected].

“I hope people leave our shows realizing that the person next to them isn’t as different as they maybe thought,” Winch said.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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