Students bring home two awards from theatre festival in Morocco
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The cast and crew of "The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party" with a traditional Moroccan waterseller
Photo courtesy of Karen Robinson
KENNESAW, Ga. (July 31, 2012) —
The Kennesaw State University Department of Theatre & Performance Studies' production of Jean Cocteau’s “The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party” recently won two awards at the Festival International de Théatre Universitaire de Casablanca, sponsored by Hassan II Ben M'sik University in Casablanca, Morocco. The theatre students who performed in the festival were presented with awards for “most promising troupe” and “most promising actress” for KSU theatre student Abbey Sanders.
Winning the awards proved to be a rewarding end to an already exciting and fulfilling trip for the theatre troupe. Accompanied by the play’s co-directors Karen Robinson, professor, and Margaret Baldwin, lecturer in the theatre and performance studies department, the ten student actors participated in a variety of educational and cultural activities. “The program was jam-packed with a range of incredible social, cultural and aesthetic experiences,” Robinson explains. “The trip opened the students’ eyes and educated them about Moroccan culture and, just as importantly, heightened their awareness and understanding of their own American culture.”
“It is a wonderful experience for our students to participate in this prestigious international festival,” says John Gentile, chair of the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies. “This is our second time participating in the Casablanca Theatre Festival and our productions have now won a total of four awards, a testimony of the program’s quality and significance.” In 2009, KSU theatre students performed “Moby-Dick” at the festival and received awards for “best performance” and “best actor” for student Phillip Justman.
While in Morocco, the students attended workshops focused on various aspects of performance, participated in discussions with local professors about Moroccan culture and visited several cultural sites, including the third largest mosque in the world, waterfalls in the High Atlas mountains and various markets where they sampled traditional Moroccan food and Moroccan mint tea.
The focus of the trip, however, was their performance in the theatre festival, during which groups from Morocco, Tunisia, Spain, Mexico, Turkey and Romania also performed. The KSU group performed “The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party,” a surrealist farce by French author Jean Cocteau that is set on the first platform of the Eiffel Tower, where a photographer attempts to capture the perfect photo of a wedding party.
“The awards are a testament to the talent, growth and outstanding potential that our students demonstrated in their performances,” says Robinson. “Abbey Sanders is especially deserving of this recognition because of her growth as a scholar and artist in our program. She has demonstrated discipline, commitment and talent, and she has a winning and charming presence on stage.” Sanders describes receiving the award as a dream come true. “This performance was a challenge for me, and receiving this award is a way of celebrating my progress,” she says. “It serves as reassurance to me that I am pursuing the right career field.”
“We are very proud of our students, faculty and staff for this important international recognition,” says Joseph Meeks, dean of the College of the Arts. “These awards are a testimony to the high level of excellence in the department and throughout the college.”
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of more than 24,100 students from 130 countries.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts departments.