Matthew Hernandez’s “Work”

Photo: Lawrence Peart, Courtesy of The University of Texas at Austin

Photo: Lawrence Peart, Courtesy of The University of Texas at Austin

Work explores the humanity behind the labor that keeps the university operating. Through a devised experience, the audience explores the stories of maintenance and custodial employees at The University of Texas at Austin. Inspired by audio-recorded interviews, Work offers untold insight into an integral piece of the community.

Matthew Hernandez, project lead for Work, is a BFA Theatre Studies senior who is passionate about sharing diverse and unique stories with others. He wants to create change by sharing the compelling stories people have to offer.

“The power of storytelling is that by sharing stories that people haven’t heard before, the audience [can] walk away with knowledge and hopefully that knowledge sparks a change,” shared Hernandez. “A lot of what fuels me as an artist is social awareness and social justice issues. The idea of equal pay [and] equal treatment was on the top of my mind when I was trying to come up with this piece.”

Photo: Lawrence Peart, Courtesy of The University of Texas at Austin

Photo: Lawrence Peart, Courtesy of The University of Texas at Austin

We asked Hernandez who he is inspired by and he shared with us that he is inspired by people who share their lives with him, whether that’s his best friends, his family or those who he shares a smile with on the bus. He believes true theatre is sharing stories of the human spirit, so he opens himself to anyone and everyone. This led him to create Work and share it with others.

Work is part of the Cohen New Works Festival. Their last performance is on April 14th at 12:30 p.m. at F. Loren Winship in room 1.134. You can follow their project by checking out their hashtag #MoreThanWork.

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