Monday, October 4th, 2010...2:21 pm
UT Faculty Member leads stagecraft workshops in Cartagena
Over the summer, UT’s Department of Theatre & Dance Professor Rusty Cloyes spent several weeks in Cartagena, Colombia spearheading the most recent collaboration between The University of Texas at Austin and El Colegio del Cuerpo (“The College of the Body”), Colombia´s first contemporary dance choreographic formation center and educational program for disadvantaged children. With the support of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Professor Cloyes led workshops in lighting, audio, and scenic design at El Colegio’s headquarters in Cartagena. Along with El Colegio’s Technical Director, Jhón León, Cloyes taught students enrolled in the school’s dance performance program, exposing them to other aspects of theater and diversifying their skill sets in hopes of creating new professional opportunities for the students in the future.
There are few possibilities to study stagecraft and design in a formal academic setting in Latin America, and there are no degree programs currently offered in Colombia. This results in a shortage of qualified, professional theater technicians in a country with abundant artistic talent and where artists compete for the services of a small number of talented production personnel. This issue was raised early on in discussions with El Colegio’s Founder and Co-Director Álvaro Restrepo during his first visit to Austin in the spring of 2008. The workshops represent a first step towards addressing this issue, creating exciting opportunities for students in Colombia, as well as faculty here at the University. These activities are a follow-up to last spring’s ground-breaking “Canción del Cuerpo” project, on which Cloyes served as Technical Director and Adviser. The plan is continue and expand upon the workshops next summer.