Department of Theatre and New Dance presents ‘I’m Fine I Guess’

By Kelsey Coen, Dec. 13, 2022

Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Theatre and New Dance produced an original play, “I’m Fine, I Guess” from Dec. 6-8. “I’m Fine I Guess” was a newly devised play directed by Diana Wynn and written and performed by the students of CPP.  

According to the play’s program, “Devising is a technique for creating theater where you don’t start with a script.” Instead the actors worked together to create their own script and story. 

The play is similar to the format of shows like Saturday Night Live, with a collection of skits and monologues discussing the mental health issues students face today. Hailey Hill, who is both an actor and a costume designer, went into the class not knowing what to expect but was led through writing exercises alongside the other writers. After a while, they found that a common theme amongst everyone was mental health. 

“What really started making things come together more clearly for me was when I would start to reach out to people in the community and interview them in the green room,” said Hill “I would just ask them how they feel about mental health and what brings them joy. Hearing their answers is how things really started to develop for me and things started coming together.” 

Mental health is an issue that is important to many students and young adults and with the help of staff at the Student Health Services, the goal of this play was to provide a voice to many of the emotions that students feel day to day, as well as highlight ways to handle mental health better. 

Kelsey Coen | The Poly Post

“It was informative and gave a lot of insight about mental health issues,” said audience member, Luc Saikali. “But it was also like a movie. You put down your phone during and lose track of time just enjoying it” 

The play put important information like how to calm down during a panic attack into an entertaining format by including a scene about “panic airlines.” The show framed as if a flight attendant was offering drinks and advise.  

This is the first time that the theatre department has had students write their own play from scratch instead of performing published plays. The greater involvement in the material of the play caused an increase in passion from the students that could really be seen on stage. 

“There were times on stage where I would forget a line and have to improvise on the spot,” said actor and writer, Mary Kapella. “Even during those times, I felt so in touch and connected to the material that I was able to convey what I wanted to. The material felt so personal and connected to me that even if I can’t remember the exact lines, I remember the message behind the scene.” 

Not only was the audience able to see how passionate every actor was about the play, but at many points, they could even feel a part of the passion. There were multiple times throughout the play where the audience was involved, including the actors passing out home-cooked food during one scene to every member of the audience.  

The students all expressed that through this change in the class’s curriculum they learned plenty of new things about making and acting in plays. By allowing the students to have a much more hands-on approach, students were able to gain a deeper understanding of theater and the theater industry. 

Many of the members expressed how after taking part in this play they feel much more prepared for entering the workforce. They not only have a play they wrote under their belt but also all the experiences and lessons that go into making a play from scratch. 

Feature image courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona Department of Theatre and New Dance

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

‘Trolls’ delivers colorful humor for all to enjoy

In an explosion of colors, fluffy hair and song and dance, the movie “Trolls” ...

Theatre production gives Shakespeare new life

By Angela Stevens In the “Taming of the Shrew,” a young woman named Kate ...

ISA marks traditional Hindu festival of lights

By Agnes Musee In celebration of Diwali, the Indian Student Association collaborated with the ...