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May 17, 2004

Students perform theater pieces in five languages

By Jennifer McNulty

For language students, performing live theater is the ultimate test.

This spring, UCSC students of Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish will show off their talents during International Playhouse IV, the annual staging of short plays in their original languages--with English supertitles.

This year’s performances take place in the Stevenson Events Center on May 20 and 21 at 8 p.m., and on May 22, at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The plays are directed, or written and directed, by lecturers in the UCSC Language Program.

Live performance in the language they are studying challenges students to develop confidence, said French instructor Miriam Ellis, who is retiring after 33 years of teaching at UCSC. Ellis has produced UCSC performances in French since 1971; four years ago, the event expanded to include other languages.

Each play will be fully staged with sets and costumes. Students receive academic credit for the course that culminates in the performances; instructors work as volunteers.

The International Playhouse is a collaboration of the Humanities Division, Cowell and Stevenson Colleges, and the Language Program.


French: L’Amour Médecin (Doctor Love) by Molière; adapted and directed by Miriam Ellis.
Spanish: La Cueva de Salamanca (The Cave of Salamanca) by Miguel de Cervantes; directed by Paco Ramírez.
Italian: Fratello Bancomat (Brother ATM) and Coincidenze (Coincidences) by Stefano Benni; adapted and directed by Giulia Centineo.
Chinese: Cross Talk, written and directed by Jackie Ku.
Japanese: Three Tangerines from the Izumi School and Food for Life: A Trilogy by Juzo Itami et al; adapted and directed by Sakae Fujita.

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