As a part of UNC’s Pride Week festivities, “The Story of Us,” a theatrical performance, will premiere this Saturday at the FedEx Global Education Center’s Mandela Auditorium and share the experiences of LGBTQ+ life at the University from the lens of students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Twenty-seven first-person accounts will be showcased on Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm, and tickets are free of charge.
The featured stories were collected by the Southern Oral History Program, which is dedicated to conducting, archiving and exhibiting oral histories. These accounts will be brought to life by UNC alumni actors from New York, Los Angeles, Memphis and Chicago said Joseph Megel, a teaching professor in the UNC Department of Communication.
In 2020, "The Story of Us" began as a digital archive collection kept in Wilson Library in collaboration between Carolina Pride Alum Network, SOHP and the UNC Department of Communication.
CPAN spearheaded the project so that the LGBTQ+ community could be further represented in the University’s archives.
Many of these oral histories were recorded by doctoral student Hooper Schultz, and Elisabeth Lewis Corley used the thousands of pages of transcripts in order to create a script for the performance.
Schultz views the development of “The Story of Us” screening as a way of “bridging the gap” between research and the public.
A variety of stories being told collectively gives breadth to the experiences of UNC alumni and students who identify as LGBTQ+, said Megel.
He hopes that by performing these narratives, issues regarding the LGBTQ+ community will become humanized, and the public can better understand their history at the University.