UK Theatre presented culture at Lexington Arts Center

By Charlie Cecil

This weekend, downtown Lexington was a main hub for enthusiasts of culture and the theater.

The World Theatre Festival, presented by the UK Department of Theatre, took to the stage downtown at the Lexington Arts Center with around 200 people in attendance.

The Theatre Department at UK is currently celebrating its 100th year, yet this is the first time they’ve used the downtown venue at the Lexington Arts Center.

“Our goal for the event is to be globally focused on all types (of) theatre, and showcase lots of cultural experiences,” director Nanny Jones, chair of the event, said.

For Jones, and her staff, it was a very busy event. Seven plays each were held on Saturday and Sunday, including the shadow puppet version of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.

“I have directed French Theatre and I have always been very (hands-on),” Jones said when asked how she became involved with this project.

In a message written to everyone, Jones said, “(the) World Theatre and Festival was developed and devised in a collaborative classroom, with students and faculty working side by side in an innovative laboratory environment.”

It was a very busy weekend for Dr. Jennifer Goodlander as well, as director of the play “Over the Rainbow: Connections Between South Africa & Kentucky.”

This play was a performance put on by the Black Theatre Workshop. The goal of the show was to explore connections between South Africa and Kentucky.

“This experience has been fantastic and unique,” Goodlander said. “It has been great working with students and generating ideas.”

Goodlander said the performance was a complete success for everyone involved and hopefully opened up people’s minds on African culture.

Jeni Miller, a grad student at UK and a student of Asian Theatre, had been participating in the events all weekend.

“The whole department really pulled together to put on the show and I am glad to be involved with the community downtown,” Miller said. “It has been really fantastic to see new faces and new ideas. “