UI MFA candidate Ann Kreitman is expanding the medium of theater

I’m Writing to You Today is an audio experience that guides listeners through Iowa City while sharing LGBTQ+ love letters throughout history.

University+of+Iowa+MFA+Candidate+Ann+Kreitman+and+Creator+of+Podcast+%E2%80%9CI%E2%80%99m+Writing+to+You+Today%E2%80%9D+ poses+ +Portrait+on+the+IMU+foot+bridge+in+Iowa+City+on+Thursday%2C+Aug+4%2C+2022.+The+podcast+takes+listeners+on+a+small+ journey+through+ Iowa+City%2C+including+on+the+foot+bridge%2C+while+detailing+the+LGBTQ+story.+

Ayrton Breckenridge

Ann Kreitman, University of Iowa MFA candidate and creator of the podcast “I’m Writing to You Today,” poses on Thursday, August 4, 2022 at the IMU Pedestrian Bridge in Iowa City. The podcast takes listeners on a little journey through Iowa city, including on the pedestrian bridge, while detailing LGBTQ history.

Shortly after Ann Kreitman came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, she stumbled across a book of queer love letters. For years, Kreitman said she felt like an outcast in her identity, had never seen herself represented in the media or seen others in her community open and proud.

This love letter book full of representative stories connected to Kreitman on a personal level. Inspired by this, she created the ambient audio experience entitled I am writing to you today.

I am writing to you today is an audio experience that takes listeners through Iowa City while sharing LGBTQ+ love letters throughout history. Departing from the University of Iowa Theater Building, the combination of a guided walk and a listening experience was originally intended to meet the need for art during the isolation period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The forum was kind of a necessity as we didn’t feel safe gathering audiences,” Kreitman said. “You can build a really genuine intimacy between your own ears by listening to someone so closely in a one-to-one experience. I combined that with my other pandemic activity, which was walking and charted a course around campus.”

The Book of Love Letters that inspired Kreitman was used in the final product, but more sources were collected as well. Kreitman expanded her research beyond Sapphic relationships and wanted to capture the broadest picture she could. She said she originally intended to only include Iowa love stories, but as her research began, she soon realized she needed to broaden her horizons.

Officially, the listening experience will be available for download from August 17th to September 23rd. Kreitman said this is the third rendition of her project to be released to the public.

Kreitman said that with this piece, she wanted to make students aware that there is a queer history and that there is a community for LGBTQ+ students on campus. She said a Big Ten school can be intimidating at times, so her listening experience provides an opportunity to orient students and welcome them to campus.

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“My supervisor thinks it’s really a great introduction for students who may not be fully settled here at the university,” Kreitman said. “They need a little bit of support and this experience works pretty well for that.”

Kreitman also spoke about the timeliness of her project, which is taking place on a college campus earlier in the year. She said that from her perspective, many LGBTQ+ people feel they only have one chance at love. Kreitman said this listening experience shows there will always be opportunities that can be applied to so many situations.

“I think college feels like that. [You feel] Like you have this one chance to make friends and have great experiences and get good grades, but sometimes it doesn’t always work that way,” Kreitman said. “You know, you get chances, and you get more chances, and you get time to do it again, and do it again, and do it again, in whatever form you want.”

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