The Irish experience on stage

By Anna Smith
Staff writer

The Center for Fine and Performing Arts at the University of West Florida hosted the Irish Experience Presentation where students who were a part of the 2017 study-abroad Ireland Experience Project could present their works of art.

The students and instructors who visited Ireland were able to tour castles, cathedrals, museums and much more in order to study Irish history, art history and music.

The theatre and music performance took place on Sep. 15 on the mainstage theatre in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts and included two theatre performances and a vocal performance. Drawings, paintings and photographs created by the students during their time in Ireland were also on display.

The theatre performances included Red Hanrahan and Lovers performed by Brittney Lester, Amanda De Benedetto and Mason St. Germain, and were directed by Andrew Cook and Paddy Behan.

The vocal performances included songs such as The Leprechaun, My Lagan Love and a group performance with a guitar in the Irish dialect of Oro Se Do Bheatha ‘Bhaile. Vocal performances were directed by Professor Blake Riley and Dr. Sheila Dunn, and performers included Donovan Black, Amber Cobley, Autumn Herndon, Isabelle Peterson, Morgan Seip and Meredith Stemen.

The Emerald Coast Meets the Emerald Isle, the month-long exchange program now in its third year, lets UWF theatre, music and art students experience another culture in what program coordinator Howard Reddy, associate director for the Office of Community Engagement, called a triumph in cross-cultural exchange programming, delivering excellence in education, primary research, creativity and performance.

“My time in Ireland taught me many valuable lessons that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Morgan Seip, a vocal performance major at UWF who studied abroad in Ireland, said. “We all worked very hard, and had to adapt to a demanding schedule. For me, I think best part of the trip was being able to explore the countryside with my best friends and colleagues.

“It was exhilarating sharing a piece of our trip with the audience on Friday night. To be able to perform with my friends from the Theatre and Music departments made the experience that much sweeter. It was a perfect ending for our collaborative adventures.”

The Irish Experience Art Exhibition will remain open until Oct. 7 and is free to the public. Call the box office at 857-6285 or visit uwf.edu/cfpa for more information or to reserve tickets for future events.

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