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KSU Students Win Awards in Moroccan Contest

The students participated in the Fesitval International de Théatre Universitaire de Casablanca in Morocco.

's Department of Theatre & Performance Studies' production of Jean Cocteau’s “The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party” recently won two awards at the , sponsored by Hassan II Ben M'sik University in Casablanca, Morocco.

"The Eiffel Tower" is a surrealist farce by French author Jean Cocteau that is set on the first platform of the Eiffel Tower, where a photographer attempts to capture the perfect photo of a wedding party.

The theatre students who performed in the festival were presented with awards for Most Promising Troupe and Most Promising Actress for KSU theatre student Abbey Sanders.

“The awards are a testament to the talent, growth and outstanding potential that our students demonstrated in their performances,” said Karen Robinson, one of the play's co-directors. “Abbey Sanders is especially deserving of this recognition because of her growth as a scholar and artist in our program. She has demonstrated discipline, commitment and talent, and she has a winning and charming presence on stage.”

Sanders said receiving the award was a dream come true.

“This performance was a challenge for me, and receiving this award is a way of celebrating my progress,” she said. “It serves as reassurance to me that I am pursuing the right career field.”

Accompanied by the play’s co-directors Robinson and Margaret Baldwin, who are a professor and lecturer respectively in the theatre and performance studies department, the 10 student actors participated in a variety of educational and cultural activities.

“The program was jam-packed with a range of incredible social, cultural and aesthetic experiences,” Robinson said. “The trip opened the students’ eyes and educated them about Moroccan culture and, just as importantly, heightened their awareness and understanding of their own American culture.”

KSU has participated twice in the Casablanca Theatre Festival and has won four awards, which John Gentile, chair of the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies, said is a testament to the quality of the school's program. In 2009, KSU students performed "Moby Dick" and won the Best Performance and Best Actor awards for the performance given by Philip Justman.

“It is a wonderful experience for our students to participate in this prestigious international festival,” Gentile said.

While in Morocco, the students attended workshops focused on various aspects of performance, participated in discussions with local professors about Moroccan culture and visited several cultural sites, including the third largest mosque in the world, waterfalls in the High Atlas mountains and various markets where they sampled traditional Moroccan food and Moroccan mint tea.

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