Kennesaw State s ssssssss students bring home two awards from theatre festival in Morocco
The Kennesaw State University Department of Theatre & Performance Studies' production of Jean Cocteau’s “The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party” won two awards at the 2012 Festival International de Théatre Universitaire de Casablanca, sponsored by Hassan II Ben M'sik University in Casablanca, Morocco in July.
, ,Kennesaw State students performing in the festival were honored as the “most promising troupe,” and theater major Abbey Sanders was designated “most promising actress” among competing students from Morocco, Tunisia, Spain, Mexico, Turkey and Romani a.aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
“It is a wonderful experience for our students to participate in this prestigious international festival,” said 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, Kennesaw State theatre students performed “Moby-Dick” at the festival and garnered “best performance” and “best actor” awards.
In addition to the competition, the 10 student actors participating in this year’s festival experienced a variety of educational and cultural activities. They were accompanied by the play’s co-directors Karen Robinson, professor, and Margaret Baldwin, lecturer in the theatre and performance studies department.
“The program was jam-packed with a range of incredible social, cultural and aesthetic experiences,” Robinson said. “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.”
During the two-week study abroad experience in Morocco, students attended workshops 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 toured markets where they sampled traditional foods.
The focus of the trip, however, was the students’ performance in the theatre festival, during which the Kennesaw State troupe performed Cocteau’s surrealist farce 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 said. “It serves as reassurance to me that I am pursuing the right career field.”
Joseph Meeks, dean of Kennesaw State’s College of the Arts, said: “We are very proud of our students, faculty and staff for this important international recognition. These awards are a testimony to the high level of excellence in the department and throughout the college.”