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The cast of "Bare."

“We believe in the power of art and using that power to make positive changes,” Artistic Director Dennis Corsi said. Corsi is explaining the mission of Touch Your Soul Productions, a new theater and video production company that is run by Michigan State University students. The idea for Touch Your Soul Productions emerged last year when Corsi was working on directing and producing his first musical. Touch Your Soul Productions became an official company of Ingham County in May 2011 and Bare, a musical that Corsi said he had fallen in love with two years earlier, was in the works. Touch Your Soul Productions operates entirely on donations. The company’s biggest source of funding for Bare was Kickstarter.com, a website dedicated to “funding creativity.” “(We had) a $2,300 goal and a deadline … It was a close call — we reached our goal a couple of hours before deadline,” Corsi said. The other funding source was the Transforming Theatre Ensemble, a MSU group that uses theater as a means of encouraging diversity on campus. Bare, a pop opera that portrays seniors at a Catholic high school who are struggling with issues of identity and religion, was showcased in the fall of 2011 at the RCAH Theatre located in MSU’s Snyder Hall. With a successful first performance under its belt, Touch Your Soul Productions briefly turned its focus to video and produced Waiting Room, a short film about two people who meet and fall in love in a waiting room.” Now, Touch Your Soul Productions is collaborating with the MSU Department of Theatre to produce a play called Scarborough. The script addresses gender perceptions through the portrayal of an affair between a female teacher and a male student and vice versa. The Scarborough cast is scheduled to take the stage Feb. 17–19 at the MSU Auditorium. While cast members vary with each performance, everyone involved shares a common belief. “I believe, along with others, that we can make a huge difference and have an impact on society,” Corsi said. “Art has power. We’re using that power in a positive way and not letting it go to waste.” Corsi, 21, is on track to graduate next spring with a double major in theater and media arts and plans to stick with Touch Your Soul Productions. “I wouldn’t have gone through everything it took to do this if I didn’t think it was something I wanted to continue with. After graduation I imagine that it will be on hold until I move to a city and save some money, but I hope within a few years I can reestablish it in a new place,” Corsi said.
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Tags: theater, Touch Your Soul Productions