Cuesta original play invited to international festival
Cuesta College’s original play, “pool ’63”, has been selected by the Kennedy Center as the United States representative at the 2015 International University Theatre Festival (IUTF) in Mexico City. This is the first time the Kennedy Center has chosen a college or university theater production to represent the United States at an international theater festival.
“We will be representing the best theater of all colleges and universities in the United States – this is an incredible honor,” said pool ’63 Director Bree Valle, who will travel to Mexico City with 20 cast members and three staff in February.
According to Artistic Director of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Gregg Henry, pool ’63 is an ideal production for the center’s first international representation. “A rich, moving, student-centric exploration of a key moment in our history, staged and designed in a method that can only be described as being on the leading, cutting edge,” said Henry. “More importantly, the passion and commitment of the Cuesta College students is the best ambassadorial profile for our national organization.”
The majority of costs associated with participating in the festival are being raised through cast fundraising. Additionally, the play is returning to the Cuesta College stage, with proceeds funding travel costs. Pool ’63 will be shown in the Experimental Theater of the Cultural and Performing Arts Center on the following dates: January 30 at 7:30 p.m., January 31 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Feb 1 at 2:00 p.m.
Created in collaboration with the college’s theatre department students, director and faculty member Valle and playwright Philip Valle, pool ’63 draws its subject matter from Birmingham, Alabama, and the racial unrest of the civil rights movement that occurred in 1963. The play first debuted on the Cuesta stage in December 2013 to sold-out audiences. In February of 2014, the cast and crew took part in the Region 8 festival of the KCACTF, held in Los Angeles. In April of 2014, the play was recognized in Washington D.C. with five national awards from the 46th annual KCACTF, marking the first time a Cuesta College theater production was recognized nationally.
The KCACTF is an organization that encourages and celebrates the finest and most diverse theatrical productions from colleges and universities nationwide and annually awards institutions from around the country for outstanding work.
The IUTF is a part of the International University Theatre Association, established in Belgium in 1994, to develop and promote recognized post-secondary activity in theater throughout the world. It has members in every continent and in more than 50 countries.