Field Study Serves Interest in HDSR and Theatre
Ricardo Garciaherreors Quinones '11
Richmond (Indiana) Civic Theatre
Two men walk into a bar, dimly by an O’Doul’s sign and a few stage lights. “I hate being mothered,” gripes the younger one, played by Ricardo. “I had a mother, she was nice.”
The other man, a little older, follows Garciaherreros silently through the bar. Then the pair takes a seat, stage right, where another man at the table starts a monologue about his wife, who he thinks is too tidy.
The play is called “Men’s Shorts,” and every monologue in it addresses an issue important to men — family issues, work life, romance and failure. Garciaherreros helped director Becky Cooper assemble the play, a collection of contemporary monologues to be performed by men, during a field study at the Richmond Civic Theatre.
Garciaherreros designed his field study, a requirement for his major in Human Development and Social Relations (HDSR), to help him understand the administrative workings of a theatre.
“In HDSR, the field study is to understand a system,” he said. “You look at the social interactions, how they’re managed, who makes decisions and who does the projects.”
The field study allows students to apply the theory that they’ve learned in the classroom, explains Deb Jackson, who teaches in the interdisciplinary HDSR program. By working inside an organization, students can better analyze the way the organization works, she said. The project culminates in a written ethnography.
In the field study, HDSR students generally explore a new job or role, to help them see an organization with new eyes. Garciaherreros, who has a second major in theater, focused on administrative work while at RCT. He said that choice allowed him to see the other side of theatre, the part that happens off-stage.
“It’s helped me understand how people react and collaborate, especially because RCT is an organization that is sustained by volunteer jobs,” he said. “It’s very interesting to see the small things that each person offers… it’s not just the actors of course, it’s designers and directors and stage managers and people involved with publicity.”
Garciaherreros coordinated volunteers, helped with the box office, orchestrated publicity, and worked on the pre-production for Men’s Shorts. During that process, Cooper asked him if he’d like to take part in the show, which raises money for the volunteer-run theatre.
He stayed in Richmond for an extra month to participate in the project, before returning to his hometown of Pasto, Colombia. In all, Garciaherreros spent about 350 hours with RCT, even though the field study only required 200.
Garciaherreros saw “Men’s Shorts” as a chance to work closely with men in the area while adding to his resume.
“The play allows people to see another side of their town’s leaders,” Garciaherreros said. “It’s helped me understand the people that are in town.”
“It’s always good to make those connections to people in theatre,” he added. “Even though we’re in a small town, the connections you make – you never know when you’re going to need them.”
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