Shakespeare in Korea
Senior theater major Stephen Anderson has played many roles during his three years at UNH, but none so demanding as the role he played offstage this summer when he took a student theater group to Korea.
Anderson had directed the Mask and Dagger production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream on campus in February. In the audience for the final performance was a visiting South Korean businesswoman who had been involved in arranging cultural exchanges between the U.S. and South Korea in the past. She was so impressed by the UNH troupe's performance that she invited them to repeat it in her homeland.
"She told me, 'If you can get the company to South Korea, we can take care of the rest,'" Anderson says. Within a week, the woman had arranged for the troupe to visit Kyung Hee University, performing the play at two of its three campuses.
But travel expenses of $25,000 weren't in the Mask and Dagger budget. To make the trip possible, Anderson had to raise the money. He appealed to a number of UNH offices and departments, as well as the Alumni Association (which provided a $5,000 grant), and raised the amount required.
By that point, Anderson and the cast had just a few weeks to rehearse and get passports, tickets and other documents. They did all of that during the end-of-semester crunch and while they were taking finals.
Even though most Korean students speak English, plays written in that language are generally performed with subtitles. Since the UNH crew didn't have the time or resources to mount a production with subtitles, the fact that their play emphasized physical comedy was a great help in bringing the Bard's masterpiece alive for the Koreans.
"Seeing another culture was an incredible experience," Anderson says. "I think it changed us all." ~blog comments powered by Disqus
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