UCSC language students to present International Playhouse

ucsc's international playhouse poster

UC Santa Cruz will present the 14th season of The Miriam Ellis International Playhouse—an annual program of fully-staged short theater pieces by students in the Languages and Applied Linguistics Department—on May 15-18, at 8 p.m. in the Stevenson Event Center.

Directed by the students’ language instructors, the four public performances will feature works in Chinese, French, Russian, Hebrew and Spanish, accompanied by English super-titles.

Admission is free and the community is invited.

This year’s multicultural program includes Three Pots of Tea by Ting-Ting Wu; scenes from Marcel Pagnol’s plays, Marius and Fanny; Cheburashka and Crocodile Ghenan by Eduard Usdensky; Songs of Israel--Hebrew music and dance; and Gabriel García Márquez’s Something Very Serious is Going to Happen in this Town.

Founded in 2001 as “The International Playhouse,” the program has been officially renamed this year as "The Miriam Ellis International Playhouse," thanks to the establishment of an endowment, spearheaded by Cowell College Provost Faye Crosby and Faye Alexander, an avid community supporter, who gathered gifts from over 100 campus and community donors.

Their fundraising efforts included a series of delectable gourmet French dinners at the Cowell College Provost House, as well as a lottery involving 1,000 paper cranes and the grand prize of an original bronze sculpture donated by artist Marianne de Hatten Groh.

“As we embark upon our 14th season under a new identity, we look forward to a solid financial footing for the Playhouse as one of the mainstays that make UCSC so extraordinary,” noted Miriam Ellis, now a lecturer emerita in French.

“This theater project grew out of the innovative, interdisciplinary approach to learning which marked our campus from its inception,” she added. “The rewards to students who have participated have been described as ‘life-changing, and ‘unforgettable.’”

Ellis added that for the past 13 years, the International Playhouse has performed to capacity audiences for its annual performances, typically offering a program of at least four different languages.

UC Santa Cruz will present The Miriam Ellis International Playhouse on May 15-18, at 8 p.m. in the Stevenson Event Center. Admission is free and the community in invited. This event is sponsored by Cowell College, Stevenson College, and the Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics. For more information, contact Lisa Leslie at 459-2054 or lmhunter@ucsc.edu.