‘Two Women’ share their stories in unique performance piece

Mateo Melero

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Telling a personal story can be more than a means of explaining one’s self, for Monsoon Bissell and Benaifer Bhadha, storytelling can enrich a conversation and be used as a tool for discovering shared experiences.

Inside the Jerome Richfield Hall Monday afternoon, Bissell and Bhadha recounted personal stories about their childhoods in their unscripted performance piece, “Two Women Talking: A Performance of Personal Narratives.”

Bissell told of her time in an Indian boarding school as a child and how her grandparents objected to her attending because they felt the money would be better spent if invested in a dowry. But her parents went against the wishes of the grandparents and decided to keep her enrolled in the school insisting that they could not take her education away.

Stopping short in her recount, Bissell passed the floor to Bhadha who began to share her experience in boarding school and personal struggles in a life spent across three continents.

For the storytellers their style is dependent on listening to the other person and being intuitive while speaking, allowing the other person to engage by adding their own experience. The two storytellers would build off a theme initiated by the other speaker and respond with their own experience.

“Some stories left you wanting more but the next person’s story gave you (a) new highlight and soothed the need of wanting more,” said communications major Charlie Gross, 21.

Bhadha and Bissell met through a mutual friend who felt that they had a lot in common and should start a project together.

During their first meeting the two found out that they both attended boarding school as children.

Bissell and Bhadha will be performing again in Manzanita 240 today from 4-6 p.m.