Western Carolina University’s new outreach program that presents free theatrical, music, film and visual arts events to organizations and communities is being well-received.
The Road Works program of the College of Fine and Performing Arts has 22 performances scheduled throughout the region this month featuring its first effort, a production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged and Revised.” A family-friendly parody of Shakespeare’s work directed by George H. Brown, dean of the college, the production is completely self-contained and can be performed indoors or outdoors.
Venues include public libraries, community centers and nursing homes, as well as three shows on the WCU campus, with a complete listing of upcoming performances at http://www.wcu.edu/friendsofthearts/Shakespear.asp.
The traveling performances allow WCU to showcase the talents of students while it helps promote the College of Fine and Performing Arts and its upcoming performance season.
“I believe that touring a show like this is a much more rewarding experience than having a few show dates in one location,” said Wesley Walker, assistant stage manager. “So far, I’ve realized that touring will take every ounce of energy you have away from you, but at the end of a show when you’ve seen how much joy and excitement you’ve brought to so many people, you realize that it’s all worth it.”
Sarah Luckadoo, an actress in the production, said the performances have gone “super well. I love the aspect of touring because you get to constantly perform for new and equally excited people every time and we never know what to expect from these different venues so we’ve really had to think on our feet so far.”
Stage manager Demacy Kincaid said nursing homes were among her favorite audiences so far. “It is wonderful to watch their faces light up when the show starts,” she said. “They love the interaction from the actresses, and they are always asking us to come back and perform.”
“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged and Revised,” by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, is known for its comedy and pop culture references. Actress Libby Rounds said the experience has opened her eyes to how much theater affects people. “Sometimes you just need a laugh to make it through the day,” she said. Fellow actress Sabrina Montgomery agreed, saying “Nothing is more fulfilling than finally hearing laughter at jokes you have recited for a month straight in rehearsals. I am thankful for this opportunity.”
For more information, go to foa.wcu.edu or call the College of Fine and Performing Arts at 828-227-7028.