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Northern Vermont University Presents The Monument

Northern Vermont University’s Performance, Arts, and Technology program, based on NVU’s Johnson campus, will present The Monument, an original immersive production performed live online. The 50-minute performance will run The Monument posterThursday, October 29 at 7 p.m. and Friday, October 30 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, purchased through The Zoom App is required for the show.

The play is set in a fictional Vermont town and is based in real suffrage history with a staged Zoom select board meeting that takes place in the real problems of today. 

In The Monument, the select board of Waldenburgh, VT hosts a harvest festival on their town green each year next to their monument of Governor Percival W. Clement. The theme of the festival this year is the 100-year anniversary of the suffrage movement, which is particularly ironic since Governor Clement was responsible for denying women the right to vote in 1920. Due to Covid-19, the festival as a whole is cancelled. Instead, select suffrage-inspired pieces will be performed at the town’s October Zoom meeting along with the much-anticipated vote on a new town monument that may or may not replace the Clement statue.

In this immersive online performance, the audience is invited into this fictitious world as voting members of the town. Thanks to Zoom polling and the select board’s open floor for discussion, the audience will decide the fate of the Clement monument as well as the ending of the piece itself. 

“Think of The Monument as Our Town set in 2020: less swooning about memories of mom’s breakfast and a lot more arguing,” says NVU Assistant Professor of Performing Arts Isaac Eddy.

The Monument is an original production written by an ensemble of students. Professor Eddy advises the students and directed the show. The piece is inspired by primary source artifacts of suffrage history and Vermont’s current political climate. 

It is also the inaugural production of NVU Johnson’s new Performance, Arts, and Technology (PAT) program, which focuses on multidisciplinary collaboration and student-led creation of new and experimental performance works. PAT program concentrations include Theatre/Musical Theatre, Music, Immersive Design, Dance, and Social Justice and Activism in Performance. 

Eddy, the program founder, drew from his years of experience performing as a Blue Man in the show Blue Man Group to create this unique approach to the arts in higher education. 

“The collaboration and communication skills that are engaged in a multidisciplinary program like this one offer a fantastic opportunity for the performing artists and designers of the future,” Eddy said.