Students study in London, visit site of historic theatre
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Southeastern’s Alpha Psi Omega honorary theatre society donated $500 to The Rose Trust
during the students’ study abroad trip to London this past summer. Pictured are, front
row from left, Katy Truluck, Assistant Professor Jim Winter, and Rosie Atwell; back
row, from left, Claire Salinas, Melissa Robertson, Kirsten Dantin, Assistant Professor
Amber Narro, Dani Demontluzin, Chelsea Krause, Trey Dellucci, Rebecca Burke, Jordan
Whitworth, and Rachel Montoya
James Winter, Assistant Professor of Theatre
Amber Narro, Assistant Professor of Communication
Danielle “Deni” Demontluzin, senior English major
Chelsea Krause, junior marketing major
Southeastern’s Alpha Psi Omega Chapter donated
While studying abroad in London, Southeastern theatre students made a donation to
the Rose Theatre Trust, created to fund further excavation and costs to preserve artifacts
associated with the historic theatre.
Built in 1557, The Rose is one of the oldest theatres in London. During its original operation until the very early 1600s, The Rose staged some of the original performances of Shakespeare’s and Christopher Marlowe’s poems and plays. Two-thirds of The Rose were uncovered in 1989 during the construction of a new office block. Staff and supporters are now raising funds to pay for that area to be re-excavated and the final third to be dug up, which will cost approximately $14 million.
Jim Winter, theatre assistant professor and advisor of Southeastern’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega theatre honorary society, said, “Last year, I went to visit the ruins of The Rose theatre. It was my first time there, and I was really inspired by what they were trying to do.”
Winter and Amber Narro, assistant professor of communication, led the contingent of students on the trip to London. The Communication and Theatre Study Abroad trip was one of nearly a dozen offered through the university this past summer. Students earned six credit hours in communication and theatre by participating in the trip and completing associated assignments. The trip to London also included excursions to Stonehenge, Olympic Stadium, the Imperial War Museum, and BBC Radio.
Winter and Dani Demontluzin, former president of Alpha Psi Omega, began brainstorming ways to contribute to the Rose Trust. Last spring, the organization hosted a 24-hour theatre festival at Southeastern.
“We gathered together many directors, writers, and actors for it,” said Demontluzin, a senior English major from Kenner. “We had to have written, directed, blocked, and performed everything within 24 hours. The event was held in D Vickers as a part of the Tennessee Williams Festival.”
The festival proved successful, said Winter. Alpha Psi Omega members participating in the summer 2012 study abroad program to London hand-delivered $500 to The Rose and then saw William Shakespeare’s “Venus and Adonis” performed live in the historical setting.
While $500 may seem small in comparison to what The Rose requires for the final dig, The Rose staff member Pepe Pryke said that every little bit helps in the revitalization of the theatre.
“The timing is brilliant because we’re now talking to various organizations about needing money,” Pryke said. “We have had small school children raise $500 for us as well. It’s really inspiring that these students chose us.”
At present, the theatre is operating with a small but excited office and acting staff. In the next couple of years, they will be welcoming volunteers to help with the excavation.
“It’s where our roots are from, and to know that we -- as patrons of the theatre -- are giving back to where it all came from is just unbelievable,” Demontluzin said.
“It was good to do it, and such a long time coming,” said APO Vice-President Chelsea Krause, a junior marketing major from Baton Rouge.
Plans for the excavation of the final third of the theatre were revealed in July and include development of the site’s potential as a learning center and performance space.
“The next dig is set to begin in 2014,” said Pryke. “It’s a special time, since that year will mark 450 years since Shakespeare’s birth.”
Pryke said The Rose is now taking volunteers to usher and serve as tour guides. Soon, volunteers may sign up to work during the dig to provide support to archaeologists and staff members who are uncovering what lies even further beneath.