Dante Green is a University of the Arts (UArts) student and HPI 2018 artist who creates and performs as an actor, composer, playwright, and director in devised theater. Though he’s involved in many activities outside the program this semester, he’s figuring out ways to interweave all these practices into his creative process.
Can you describe your experience at HPI up to this point?
So my experience… I was really nervous at first because I had heard a lot of really intense things about the program before coming here. Then when I got here, I was very excited after meeting everyone and meeting the alumni at the welcome dinner. It was just a lot of excited language around the program and about how the process would go down. And then I think within the first week or two I was sort of waiting for the exciting things to happen, and I would say with every week it definitely got more interesting and more hands-on and more productive. And now that we’re midway through, I’m hoping to continue ramping up the intensity with the program and ramping up the work we’re making and the amount of productivity we have with each other.
So you’re a senior at UArts. How are you taking being a UArts student into this program?
So one of the great things about being a UArts student is you get a lot of production experience, you get to work on a lot of shows. So that’s sort of where my mind has always been geared, it’s been geared toward production and geared toward education in the theater. But as far as a classroom experience goes it feels a little bit separate, it feels a little bit less important, less valuable, less concentrated in terms of what I’m doing in the classroom. And I think one of the great things of Headlong this semester has been that what I’m learning in the classroom is the concentration and it is like, the collaboration and the content generating and all of that stuff that we’re doing here at Headlong transfers directly into that theater mode and education in the theater. Working hands-on in your art.
You’ve been really busy this semester, how is that affecting your experience at Headlong?
It’s been a little tricky to manage, but also definitely manageable. I think if you wanted to have an experience at Headlong where you leave Headlong in the classroom, it’s possible, but I wouldn’t recommend it as an experience. I think that by my being so busy, it’s sort of hindered my ability to make the most of the program that is here, but at the same time it feels very valuable to be reaching outside the program and applying what I’m learning in the program to other works that I’m working on in present time.
Have you been focusing more on threads that began before headlong, or has being in the program sparked some ideas? Or perhaps a combination?
Definitely a little bit of both. I think I’m using headlong as a model to influence the work I was working on before coming here. But I also think being here is inspiring a lot of new ideas from me. But they’re all small, they’re little babies right now. And I’m not sure if they will grow in the program, but it’s been nice to plant those seeds while I've been here.
What are you curious about going forward in the last few weeks of the program?
I’m curious about how the program gears toward a final project, or final product, because I think a lot of the program is about exploring, being curious, working on ideas that you don’t exactly know what they are. And I wonder how that sort of mentality is going to translate into a final showing and presentation of like “here are all the things I’ve been working on this semester.” And also applying it after the semester. How the things that I’ve learned, and things I’ve made, will show up in the future. Whether that be in a developmental form or in a final form.
Okay- fun fact?
I really love dogs. I really really enjoy dogs. I recently got a dog on Sunday. It’s going really well, he’s a really sweet and gentle boy. I’m also really into music and a lot of the time it shows up in my theatrical work. Dogs show up in my theatrical work sometimes. Singing dogs, actually.
Photo by Aja Nadi