In his final semester at the University of Richmond, criminal justice major Chaz Barracks, ’11 (above, second from left), worked with theatre and dance faculty to create a performance piece that tells his life story through movement.

Being a cast member in “Rent” inspired Barracks to embrace the things — good and bad — that have happened in his life.

He partnered with Dorothy Holland (above left), associate professor of theatre, to interpret for the stage experiences from his life — including when, as a seventh grader, he watched his mother begin her first prison sentence, and the persecution and harassment he dealt with in his freshman dorm at another college.

With these events transformed into monologues, narratives and movement, Director of Dance Myra Daleng (second from right) helped Barracks perfect choreography, and he enlisted several students to bring each experience to life on the stage. The project was supported by an arts and sciences research grant.

He talks about the process of creating this piece, “I Am My Life”: