Gonzales’ affiliation with square product began in the spring on Zoom when he joined brainstorming sessions for a play titled Things We Will Miss: Meditations on the Climate Crisis. After arriving in Colorado, the focus switched to further writing, thematic development, and movement work. Entering the performance phase “entailed rehearsals, practicing lines, and memorizing,” he recalled, before shows began in early July.
A theatre major, Gonzales was introduced to this opportunity by Assistant Professor of Theatre Emily K. Harrison, who founded square product, serves as its producing artistic director, and developed Things We Will Miss with an intergenerational team of artists. At Hamilton, Harrison’s Theatricalisms course “really prepared me for this different style of acting that most people aren’t taught,” he said.
Aside from this, Gonzales also mentioned a class called Gut Feelings, taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Arts and Lecturer in Dance and Movement Studies Laura Ann Samuelson. “That had a really big impact on how I view movement and create things,” he said.
Gonzales described Things We Will Miss as a non-linear climate change piece. “We labeled it as meditations on climate change … bringing in the younger perspective and dealing with climate anxiety, but also, I think, trying to find a hopeful outlook.” While Gonzales does have experience acting in two mainstage productions at Hamilton, this play has posed unique and unfamiliar challenges. “It’s not traditional theatre … there’s a lot of movements and dancing,” he said. “There are only five cast members, and we each play multiple characters, so we’re all on stage the whole time.” Juliet Davidson ’23 is also acting in the production, and Irmak Sagir ’24 is assistant director.
Sagir called the production an “incredible experience,” saying that she “learned so much about what it means to create original work professionally and collaborate with talented artists.”
The opportunity to engage with a production beyond acting in its final iteration has been both new and valuable for Gonzales. While square product is run mostly by other professional actors, Gonzales has worked predominantly with Harrison and Assistant Professor of Instruction in Theatre Jess Buttery, a lighting designer and stage manager.
“Usually when you act, you don’t have any say in lighting or any of the writing stuff, and you just have to go with it,” he said. “But here, we all had a say about all the elements.”
Going forward, Gonzales plans to continue developing his skills by taking as many acting classes as he can. As far as extracurriculars go, he will focus on his roles with the student theatre company Untitled at Large, the improv troupe Yodapez, and the a cappella group The Buffers. “What I’m doing is good,” Gonzales reflected. “I’m not planning on joining anything else.”
Arts at Hamilton
The creation of art at Hamilton is not just for art majors. Here, you’ll have opportunities to integrate creative work and performance into courses throughout the curriculum.