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Lydia Benkert ACF Abstract FY12

"Bard to Go-Traveling Theatre as a Cultural Connector"

Conference Name: Shakespeare in Paradise Festival

The Grand Valley State University theatre program's production of Bard to Go, the touring Shakespearean Theatre program, has been invited to the Shakespeare in Paradise Festival.

It is a 6 day visit to Nassau, the Bahamas, where we promote a cultural and educational dialogue in the theatre area. As a part of this exchange the cast of Bard to Go will perform "Lovestruck" a 50-minute professional-quality touring play comprised of various Shakespearean scenes based on the theme of magical enchantment; this piece is the 2011 Bard to Go production of the Grand Valley Shakespearean Festival, and will play to over 1200 students in Michigan in the fall of 2011. As part of this exchange we will be videotaping our experience. The videographer is a film and video major at Grand Valley and this project is going to be her senior film project. Based on Bard to Go's experience with previous international tours, we hope to offer approximately three performances in local secondary schools, and two performances at the Festival. In addition to these performances, the 8 students who would be traveling on this exchange would be interested in participating in the Festival activities, including workshops and viewing international theatre productions. My job on this trip to the Bahamas will be as the Stage Manager. I will be the organizer of the group. This is something I have never done before but was asked because of my want to work in Childrens Theatre/Applied Theatre (Theatre for social change).