|Flourish Online Magazine||Fall 2012|
Around the World:
Kennesaw State theatre troupe wins international awards in Morocco
By Shira Kerce
"The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party” cast
and crew with a tradtional Moroccan water seller
For 10 Kennesaw State University student actors, a recent trip to Casablanca, Morocco, was more than just an exciting and unique way to spend part of their summer. Not only did the trip provide students with a culturally eye-opening experience and the opportunity to perform for an international audience at the Festival International de Theatre Universitaire de Casablanca, but the students also left with two well-deserved acting awards for their performance of Jean Cocteau’s “The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party.” The Department of Theatre & Performance Studies students were presented with awards for “most promising troupe” and “most promising actress” for 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 Professor Karen Robinson and Lecturer Margaret Baldwin from the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies, the students 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.”
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.
TPS Professor Karen Robinson travels
Photos courtesy of Karen Robinson
The focus of the trip, however, was their performance in the theatre festival, sponsored by Hassan II Ben M’sik University. During the festival, groups from Morocco, Tunisia, Spain, Mexico, Turkey and Romania 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.
“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.
Sanders, who won for her role as the photographer, 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.”