Connecting Kentucky + Connecting Cultures: Shows coming soon!!

Connecting-Cultures-2014Connecting Cultures

The performance at the Kentucky Center also features the Connecting Cultures performance devised by Walden Theatre students in collaboration with students at The Academy @ Shawnee and the Newcomer Academy. The show is directed by Melinda Crecelius and Hallie Dizdarevic. The Connecting Cultures Through Drama production, performed by teens actors in Walden Theatre’s Conservatory program, is the culmination of a two-part process begun in January. Walden Theatre Outreach Educators conducted a seven-week residency with a combined classroom of students from an Academy @ Shawnee language arts class and a group of students in the ESL Newcomer Academy. The residency introduced key concepts and practices of theatre while engaging participants in exercises to build trust and respect, encourage teamwork, and share their experiences growing up in very different circumstances here and abroad. The Newcomer and Shawnee students do not normally mix–there are locked doors between their portions of the Shawnee campus–and this initiative is as much about integrating these groups on a personal/immersive level as it is about breaking cultural barriers. The Walden Theatre instructors turned over the resources generated in the residency (journals, correspondence, and shared classroom work) to the Walden Theatre Connecting Company ensemble who then devised with Hallie and Melinda’s guidance an original, authentic, and fact-based theatre production based on the first-hand accounts of the Shawnee and Newcomer students. This is our second year doing a Connecting Cultures project with Shawnee and Newcomer, and the reception among the educators, administrators, and student participants has been universally positive. The ensemble will perform twice for student audiences in the Shawnee auditorium on the morning of April 11 and then will perform three times in public shows that are free to attend at Walden Theatre and the Bomhard Theatre in the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. The show is a lively, revealing, and surprising exploration of differences and commonalities among students of very different backgrounds, and this year’s show develops a theme of superpowers that came up frequently in the narratives the devising team worked from to create the play. Connecting Cultures performances (Facebook Event) Attendance is free and open to the public

  • April 5 at 4:00pm at the Bomhard Theatre in the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
  • April 11 @ 730 at Walden Theatre’s Nancy Niles Sexton Stage
  • April 12 @ 7:30 at Walden Theatre’s Nancy Niles Sexton Stage

All Connecting performances are free and open to the public and will feature linked vignettes developed by students based their insights about one another.

Connecting Kentucky

Teens from Louisville and the area near the Eastern Kentucky town of Auxier have been hard at work this month, creating together an original theatre production based on their individual and community experiences of growing up in different corners of the Bluegrass. Walden Theatre’s Connecting Kentucky program, offered in partnership with Hand in Hand Ministries, already brought these young people together for a January weekend of group activities and relationship-building theatre and storytelling exercises. Two more such residencies are planned in the coming weeks at Hand in Hand’s Auxier Center, and in addition to these crucial face-to-face interactions Walden Theatre staff continue to work closely with the groups of students—facilitating the steady correspondence, tough questions, and frank storytelling that is the backbone of the program and of the final production. “The Connecting Kentucky performance, as it’s taking shape, showcases a youth perspective on the state we all live in,” said Walden Theatre’s Julane Havens, co-developer of the program. “Its designed to be a celebration of who we are as a community and what we could become—and the back and forth between the desire for change and the value of tradition has already created an interesting dynamic.” Walden Theatre’s Melinda Crecelius has worked with the Walden Theatre participants in rehearsal and travelled with Havens for two weekends with the Auxier students. “This project has taught us all to appreciate differences and to understand what and who else is out there beyond our own little worlds. Differences aren’t such bad things when we understand and respect where someone is coming from.” The culminating performances in Prestonsburg and Louisville will feature music by the bluegrass band Land of Lincoln—members of which grew up in the Auxier and Prestonsburg area. Connecting Kentucky performances (Facebook Event) Attendance is free and open to the public

  • April 3 at 7:00pm at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, Ky.
  • April 5 at 4:00pm at the Bomhard Theatre in the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
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Filed under connecting cultures, Connecting Kentucky, Conservatory, Shows, Special Events, Staff News, Student News

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