LEO plays with gravity at BYU-I

LEO showed Rexburg audiences what life would be like if confined to a single room with a glitch in gravity.

Performed by 26-year-old acrobat, Julian Schulz, the character Leo took his audience on a journey.

“The thing about LEO is that it is touching people in many different ways,” said Gregg Parks, the producer of LEO. “If it moves people, makes them think or feel something in any way, then we are happy. That’s our goal: to reach out and make contact.”

After the performance, Parks and Schulz held a Q&A session with the audience. During the session, someone asked about a particular scene in which LEO is running. They asked Schulz if he was running toward something or away from something.

Schulz said the interpretation of that scene is left to the audience.

“I’m running towards or away from something; it’s your imagination,” Schulz said.

Chelsea Durfee, a junior studying English, said she enjoyed how the show challenged reality. She said that in reality, he was lying down, but on the screen he was standing upright.

“I was into physics and wanting to learn about the universe, but the way he portrayed it on the screen just defied the laws of physics,” said Mikai Hulse, a freshman studying physics. “It made me question my reality. It showed me a world I have never seen before.”

Hulse said he was bewildered by the performance.

“When you’re placed in a position like that, a whole new world opens up,” Hulse said. “You have these limitless possibilities, and you want to experience more than what life has to offer.”

Hulse said the physical aspect of the performance was impressive. He said the amount of control it took to climb, flip and lift himself was mind blowing, but his favorite part was the depth of the narrative.

“At times, it felt like we were in the mind of the character,” Hulse said. “I really love the fact that he was able to control himself but at the same time project an energy that was beyond him, which connected us all together.”

Hulse said it was fascinating to see how one man could project so much from a small stage, chalk and a box.

“The show wanted to be this size, kind of intimate and personal,” Parks said.

Chelsea Ayllon, a senior studying English, said she was inspired most by Julian Schulz’s performance. She said knowing that he did what was necessary to accomplish his goals was inspirational.

“I’m getting better every day,” Schulz said.

Schulz said he has been performing for three years, but, before he began, he had practiced for only two months before stepping into the role.

Parks said Schulz trained to be a circus artist.

Schulz said he graduated from Die Etage, a performing arts school in Berlin, Germany, where he learned most of his technique for acrobatics. He said he uses what he learned there for the live show of LEO.

“He did really well,” Ayllon said. “It was a fun show.”

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