Theatre students seek financial support to study and perform abroad

Wayne State’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts’ theatre students need help funding their educational and study abroad programs.

MIMThe Month in Moscow is a partnership program of intensive workshop training at the Moscow Art Theatre School, the conservatory wing of the renowned Moscow Art Theatre, which was founded in 1898 by Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko.

“One of the main reasons I came to Wayne State is because they offer the Month in Moscow program,” said Luke Hodgson, a Junior, studying for his BFA in theatre with focus in acting. “It’s one of the most well-renowned acting schools in all of Europe.”

Hodgson, 20, said he’s excited to have a cultural exchange and represent American musical theatre in Russia.

“Just to be able to experience the culture there,” he said, “and to experience how other people throughout the world view and appreciate theatre as an art form.”

Hodgson said many people hoping to participate in the program qualify for federal student aid but still need help covering the cost of the program.

“We are traveling to a foreign country very far away and living there for a month,” he said, “so there’s a lot of financial issues.”

FPThe Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance’s Freedom Players was invited this year to participate in the largest international theatre festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Cam Blackwell, a Junior studying for his BFA in theatre with focus in acting and member of the Freedom Players, said he thinks it’s important for the international community to see the Freedom Players perform at the festival.

“We’re representing not only ourselves, but the college,” he said. “We’re representing Michigan, Detroit and even the social justice theatre realm which not a lot of people are familiar with.”

Blackwell said the performance intended for the festival is called “I Am,” written by the students of Freedom Players.

“Us the students, black, latino and white bring forth our stories and personal struggles with discrimination, race, gender, or sexuality from our own lives,” he said.

“This will be the first time for most of us currently in Freedom Players to perform overseas, and the first time performing something written by ourselves,” he said.

Blackwell, 20, is also a part of To Sangana, the department’s African Dance Company.

Participating in the festival will give the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance an international presence and boost its Black Theatre and Dance program.

“It is really important to support the arts with an even bigger emphasis on social justice art to support Black theatre and dance,” Blackwell said, “I truly believe that it’s overlooked. People tend to dismiss things that they don’t understand. We need to take a pause and open our eyes and ears and really listen to the voices that are usually left unheard.”

Ways to support the study abroad students
To help fund the students’ Month in Moscow visit, visit warriorfunder.wayne.edu/project/12291. To help fund the Freedom Player’s trip to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, visit warriorfunder.wayne.edu/project/12294.

Written by: Sarah Kominek (Department of Communication, Journalism major)