One Week to Go: What's on the mind of the folks behind the Fest?

The Festival kicks off in a week and I am excited - the can't-sleep-ready-for-it-to-start-tomorrow kind of excitement.

We, the members of the Executive Committee, have been planning the Festival for over a year, and I'm ready for the anticipation to be over. We're in the midst of finalizing all the details - like ordering more trash cans, getting light plots up and focused, and sending out invitations for the Keynote Kick-off with James Still. (Click on the link to RSVP!)

As always, the ExCom is busy and bursting with energy to get the Festival kicked off and see it run dynamically and error-free next week. Jen has scheduled our Super Crew of over thirty students as light and soundboard operators and venue managers. Tramaine has been testing projectors for our many multimedia productions. Cassidy has finalized the Engaging Research events that will incorporate ideas of research in, about, and around performance. Nicole created a beautiful online schedule, and Gabe has officially booked travel for our wonderful Guest Artists!  I am quite proud of all the time and energy each one of our Executive Committee members have given to the Festival. i have complete confidence that the week will be smooth sailing. Well, there could be a few hiccups, but what would a theatre festival be without some unexpected challenges? The unexpected challenges make it exciting!

This week, I am taxing myself with trying to get to as many rehearsals as possible. With over 37 productions and eight Engaging Research events, there is no way I will be able to see everything the week of the Festival, so I am starting early! I am particularly excited about the Theatre for Young Audiences productions. As a graduate student in the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities Program, it warms my heart to see new, progressive Theatre for Young Audiences pieces as an integral part of our Festival.

One of the wonderful things about the Festival is that it creates a space for creative partnerships and friendships. The talent of the students, undergraduate and graduate, in the Theatre and Dance Department is inspiring - and I have gotten to know my peers in a way that has been possible only because of the Festival. I hope that this rings true for everyone involved. So, while we have been focused on making sure that things are in tip top shape for our audiences who arrive in a week, I hope we can all also find the time to appreciate how much great work we've already done and thoroughly enjoy the week of the Festival.

We've been saying it for a year, and yup, the Festival is NOW!

-Sarah Coleman, Student Producer

The 2011 Executive Committee! ExComm