UI MFA candidate Ann Kreitman expands the theater medium
I’m Writing You Today is an audio experience that takes listeners through Iowa City while sharing LGBTQ+ love letters throughout history.
Shortly after Ann Kreitman became a member of the LGBTQ+ community, she came across a book of queer love letters. For years, Kreitman said she felt like an outcast in her identity, never seeing herself portrayed in the media or seeing others take pride in her community.
This book of love letters full of representative stories related to Kreitman on a personal level. Inspired by it, she created the environmental audio experience called I write to you today.
I write to you today is an audio experience that takes listeners through Iowa City while sharing LGBTQ+ love letters throughout history. Starting at the University of Iowa Theater Building, the combination of a guided walk and listening experience was originally intended to meet the need for art during the coronavirus pandemic isolation period. COVID-19.
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“The forum was sort of a necessity, in that we didn’t feel safe bringing audiences together,” Kreitman said. “You can build a really heartfelt intimacy between your own ears, listening to someone this close in a one-on-one experience. I paired that with my other pandemic activity, which was going for a walk, and I traced a course along the campus.
The book of love letters that Kreitman drew inspiration from was used in the final product, but other sources were also collected. Kreitman expanded his research beyond Sapphic relationships and wanted to capture the most inclusive picture possible. She said she originally intended to only include Iowa love stories, but once her research began, she soon realized she would have to broaden her focus. .
Officially, the listening experience is available for download from August 17 to September 23. Kreitman said this is the third rendition of his project made available to the public.
Kreitman said that with this piece, she wanted to make students aware that queer history exists and that there is a community for LGBTQ+ students on campus. She said sometimes a Big Ten school can feel intimidating to students, so her listening experience has the opportunity to orient and welcome students to campus.
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“My adviser just thinks it’s a really great primer for students who might not quite have their footing here at college,” Kreitman said. “They need a little help and this experiment works pretty well for that.”
Kreitman also talked about the timeliness of his project, which is taking place on a college campus around the start of the year. She said that from her perspective, a lot of LGBTQ+ people feel like they only have one chance at love. Kreitman said this listening experience shows that the opportunity will always exist, which can be applied in many situations.
“I think college is like that. [You feel] like you have this chance to make friends and have great experiences and get good grades, but sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way,” Kreitman said. “You know, you have chances, and you have more chances, and you have time to do it again, and do it again, and do it again in whatever form you want.”