© 2024 WGLT
A public service of Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

ISU Theater Season Goes International

ISU School of Theatre and Dance

The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance has a diverse collection of plays to run this season, from old favorites to new and exciting works.  The  emphasis this season is on international playwrights.  

"We all hear everyday that we live in an international, global society," said Janet Wilson, head of the School of Theatre and Dance.  "And it is part of the mission of Illinois State University to bring globalization and diversity to the campus.  So, the School of Theatre and Dance wants to do our part to bring plays that probably people will never have an opportunity to see unless we do them in our season."

The first play of the season debuts Sept. 30 and is from New Zealand. It's Waiora, and focuses on a Maori family and their struggles for success and understanding.  The play presented an interesting conundrum in that there are no Maori students currently enrolled at ISU, said Wilson, yet they wanted to be culturally sensitive.   "We have Jack Gray, a Maori choreographer and dancer, who worked with our students who has imbued our production with authenticity."

Bruce Burningham, chair of the Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures expressed a desire to see more international plays at the university. "The important thing is to allow these cultures to speak for themselves.  By staging these plays we can allow many voices to be heard and expand peoples horizons."

Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.