International January Interim Offers New Perspective for Theatre Students

February 7, 2012

By Brigitte Graf '13

After a trip to London, England, over the January interim, the cast and crew members of the upcoming production of William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" are eager to perform.

The students spent their time abroad studying their respective parts in the play, attending professional theatrical productions and visiting historical landmarks. Rehearsals and workshops were organized with local instructors, some of whom have performed in the famed Globe Theater.

"We got to do some scenes actually on the stage of the Globe Theatre, and that's mind blowing," said Kyle Peck, one of the student cast members. "It helped me progress not just as an individual, but as a theatre performer. I am so glad I got to work with all the theatre instructors."

The students were able to attend several productions while in London. Some of the plays were Shakespearian, while others were not; however, according to senior theatre performance major Sarah Tilford, it was the show "Richard II" by William Shakespeare that left the cast inspired.

"It was by far the greatest show that some of us have ever seen in our lives," Tilford said. "We just left 10 million times more excited to be able to come back and put on our own show. It makes you want to do better at your own work because you aspire to put on a show as good as that one."

Other activities on the trip included visiting Westminster Abbey, the National Portrait Gallery and Stratford upon Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

"There's always that point in the rehearsal process when things get a little stale, but the London trip just made the entire experience a continuous ball of excitement," Tilford said.  "There was never a dull moment."

Tilford, Peck and the rest of the cast will be performing "The Tempest" in February at the Hartmann Center. The show, directed by Professor George H. Brown, will be part of a collaboration with students from Loyola University and Western Illinois University at "3U SHAK3F3ST."