Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Working Group Theatre winds up International Summer

Iowa City — Working Group Theatre, a local professional theatre whose work often takes on local topics such as race in Iowa City or treatment of Iowa Veterans, expanded its focus this summer to international collaborations.

Producing Director Martin Andrews traveled to Barcelona in July where he Co-Directed the Freedom and Focus International Voice Conference. Working Group was a sponsor of the 5-day event, which attracted over 50 participants and teachers from seven different countries. "It was pretty amazing to have people at the Institut Del Teatre in Barcelona talking about Working Group Theatre and Iowa City." said Andrews. "I hope that a future International Conference can be brought home to Iowa."

Andrews was not the only one carrying the Working Group banner across the world. Artistic Director Sean Lewis and Associate Artistic Director Jennifer Fawcett spent three weeks in Rwanda volunteering at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village with the International Theatre & Literacy Project. In just ten days, Fawcett, Lewis and poet, Didi Goldenhar, helped twenty-five teenagers create an original play about a girl, orphaned by the genocide, who travels across the country in search of her father. The play premiered in Kigali at the Centre X Centre International Theatre Festival and was one of the highlights of the festival. The students have been asked to perform the play at the University of Rwanda and the Kina Festival, a theatre festival for youth. In addition, two of the young actors were invited to perform for Rwandan President, Paul Kagame. While at the Festival, Fawcett and Lewis also taught a Play Creation workshop with participants from Sweeden, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya and America. Agahozo-Shalom is located outside Kigali and home to 375 teens who have been orphaned by the genocide and/or otherwise labeled at risk. For a more detailed account of the adventures in Rwanda, check out the blogs at www.workinggrouptheatre.org.

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