Theatre department features different cultures

By Colin Walsh

Spring break has come and gone, but if you’re one of the lucky ones who ditched the sticks and are missing that foreign flavor you savored on your trip — you might be in luck this weekend.

The UK theatre department’s inaugural World Theatre Festival will be taking dramatic cues from different cultures around the world this Saturday and Sunday at the downtown arts center.

Each day opens with two shows garnered toward children and families, followed by a number of shows developed by students and teachers in the theater program.

Theater department chair Nancy Jones says that the work is a culmination of a lot of hard work done by the theatre students throughout the semester, and that a lot of their humor and talent will be showcased.

“Each of (the plays) is something that emerged out of the type of classes that our student participate as theater majors,” Jones said. “They’re using all creative and technical skills they have learned to bring their practice to life.”

“It will be really entertaining, funny and fun,” Jones said. “(The plays) will have a lot of meaning on a personal level from the students even though they are about cultures around the globe – our plan is to bridge those distances.”

The World Theater Festival is a byproduct of the new globally focused curriculum that was implemented four years ago,

“This is great for our students moving out into a global economy… it’s also a reflection of our new world theater curriculum, as well as a way to showcase our work in a central location.”

Theater senior Brian Sprague says he is happy to be a part of the World Theatre Festival, which he has been looking forward to since last semester.

“I’ll be performing a dance and playing a Taiko (a traditional Japanese drum) in ‘Noh Drama’ and voicing one of the puppets and conducting the make shift orchestra that we have in ‘Frankenstein.’”

“I’m Thrilled to be a part of (the World Theatre Festival),” Sprague said. “I think they both offer a great range of theatrical form that is not often seen on American stages.”

Students interested in going should expect more of the “not often seen” quality that Sprague mentions, according to Jones.

“For example,” said Jones. “Our version of ‘Arlequin Refined by Love…’ it begins with a rave dance … even though it’s 200 years old, we’re updating it in a way that will make it very meaningful and contemporary.”

Anyone interested in attending can see one show for $10, buy a festival pass for $20 or a family pass for $15.

“It’s sort of like a buffet,” said Jones. “You get to sample things from different cultures around the world.”