Posted on April 3rd, 2024 in Blog, Classes, Events, Students by Sydney Bielefeld

This post serves as the third installment in a compelling series developed under the guidance of Associate Professor Emilio G. Robles for the COMM-T100 course. Building upon the foundations laid in previous discussions, this installment delves deeper into the intersection of theater and wellness, offering profound insights gleaned from the creative journey of student Matilda “Tilly” Wininger and her team. Under Professor Robles’ mentorship, students have explored the transformative power of storytelling, using theater as a platform to provoke thought, evoke emotion, and inspire positive change. With each successive post, the series continues to illuminate the profound connections between artistic expression and holistic well-being, underscoring the vital role of communication in fostering understanding and empathy.


Undergraduate student, Matilda “Tilly” Wininger

In the realm of artistic expression, few mediums are as adept at delving into the depths of human experience as theater. Through the intricacies of performance, the nuances of emotion, and the power of storytelling, theater has the unique ability to shine a spotlight on themes that resonate deeply with audiences. One such theme, often overlooked yet profoundly impactful, is that of wellness.

At the heart of their recent theatrical endeavor lies a narrative woven with threads of wellness, a concept both universally sought after and often elusive. The performance revolves around the intimate journey of two lovers, whose struggles with personal wellness reverberate through the intricacies of their relationship. It’s a tale that delves into the raw complexities of healing, growth, and the pursuit of balance.

When asked about the inspiration behind choosing wellness as the central theme, Tilly was quick to acknowledge its omnipresence in contemporary society. From physical health to mental well-being, from social connections to personal fulfillment, the pursuit of wellness touches every aspect of our lives. She explained, “Wellness is something so many people in the world strive for, and in recent years, there has been a distinct lack of it in nearly all factors and varieties of life.”

For Tilly, wellness is not merely a destination but a journey—a relentless pursuit of contentment, health, and happiness. It’s an ongoing process of self-discovery and self-care, a quest for both physical and mental equilibrium. In crafting their performance, she sought to reflect this multifaceted definition of wellness, allowing its complexities to unfold on stage.

Throughout the creative process, Tilly encountered myriad challenges, chief among them being the delicate balance between personal vulnerability and collaborative storytelling. She reflected, “Having to rehash old memories and experiences for the sake of inspiration, and doing self-reflection on what we think wellness means, was certainly eye-opening, if not a little uncomfortable.”

Central to the performance is the exploration of social wellness and its impact on interpersonal relationships. Tilly delves into the dynamics of self-improvement within the context of a romantic partnership, highlighting the often-overlooked reality that growth can sometimes strain the bonds between individuals. Through the characters’ struggles and triumphs, she aims to foster a deeper understanding of the complexities inherent in nurturing both personal and relational wellness.

As a proponent of the transformative power of theater, Tilly firmly believes in its capacity to promote wellness on both individual and collective levels. She asserted, “Theater can be anything… Theater, and this performance, allows us to carefully curate a message that we know to be effective and prevalent, and then perform it to those who need to hear it.”

In her pursuit of effective communication, Tilly has employed a range of theatrical techniques and devices to convey the nuances of wellness. From the use of doppelgangers to illuminate inner thoughts to the strategic juxtaposition of scenes to evoke emotional resonance, every aspect of the performance has been meticulously crafted to facilitate audience engagement and reflection.

As she prepares to unveil the production to the world, her hope is that audiences will emerge with a newfound appreciation for the complexities of wellness. She aspires to instill a sense of empathy for the struggles inherent in the human experience and to spark conversations about the importance of self-care, both on and off the stage.

Looking to the future, Tilly envisions their exploration of the intersection between theater and wellness as an ongoing journey of discovery and collaboration. She concluded, “We plan to continue exploring the intersection of theater and wellness by using this experience as a foundation to build our ideas on, and a way to spread our work to make connections to others who may have important things to say about wellness, both in and out of theater.”