Arts & Culture

Get Your Passport Stamped at World Theatre Festival


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2011) − The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre will close out the university's 100th year of theatre with enchanting tales from around the world, all included in the World Theatre Festival, being presented April 16-17, at the Downtown Arts Center.

Prepare to be entertained with two days of largely family-friendly performances beginning with "Round the World Tales," a selection of works for children inspired by Latin American, African, Asian and Native American folk tales.

The Spanish-flavored "Rosa y La Vaca Saltarina," or "Rosa and the Jumping Cow," from South America is second on the program. The story of a young girl who follows her dreams and enters a cow in a horse jumping competition is presented partly in English and partly in Spanish.

Jumping to the Indian Ocean, audiences will travel to Indonesia’s Bali island and hear the story of the Mahabharata as part of the "Mahabharata Project." This epic myth about love, war, luck and trust is depicted through the use of puppets, masks and dance.

To see video of students and faculty working on the "Mahabharata Project," play kinesiology freshman Zachary Norton's video on the piece below.

Click here to view a transcript of the video. 

Next stop is Japan, as world-renowned guest artist Atsuyoshi Asano and his students hope to enchant the audience with the oldest surviving form of Japanese theatre, in their presentation of "Treasury of Noh Drama." To see more on this ancient form of theatre, watch Norton's video at

Taking a decidedly adult turn later in the day's program is Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein." This performance will transport audiences to Europe and even the far reaches of the North Pole to avoid Victor Frankenstein’s monster in a shadow puppet interpretation. For a glimpse into the dark world of "Frankenstein," check out Norton's video on YouTube at

Examining the connections between South Africa and Kentucky is part of the year-long South Africa Initiative at UK College of Arts and Sciences. This study is the foundation for the Black Theatre Workshop’s "Over the Rainbow." In this production the cast discovers identities, explores boundaries and overcomes adversity. To see video of the cast working on "Over the Rainbow," watch Norton's video at (WARNING: This video contains adult language)

Finally, complete your voyage in France by falling into a comedic world of love and lust in a cross-disciplinary collaboration between the UK Program in French and Francophone Studies and UK Theatre inspired by Pierre Marivaux’s "Arlequin Refined by Love." This is the first time this production has been performed in the U.S.

To see a sneak peek of UK Theatre's production of the romantic comedy "Arlequin Refined by Love," click play on Norton's video below.


Click here to view a transcript of the video. 

Performances of each work will be presented Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17, with slightly different schedules. The World Theatre Festival shows' times and dates are:

  • "Round the World Tales," 11 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday;
  • "Rosa and the Jumping Cow," noon Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday;
  • "Mahabharata Project," 2 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday;
  • "Treasury of Noh Drama," 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday;
  • "Frankenstein," 6 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday;
  • "Over the Rainbow," 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; and
  • "Arlequin Refined by Love," 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.

Audiences also have a chance to meet the actors, designers and directors of this event with a reception, compliments of Whole Foods Market, at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 16. 

Tickets for the World Theatre Festival are $10 per show, $20 for a festival pass, or $15 for a family pass. To reserve tickets, call the Downtown Arts Center ticket office at (859) 225-0370 or visit For more information on the festival, contact the UK Department of Theatre at (859) 257-3297 or  

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-1754 ext. 229;