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Professors will lead theatre trip to Canada

By : Elaine Kelly

All the world’s a stage (and backstage) for theatre Professor Tom Kremer and his wife, Adjunct Professor Carol Hanscom. From Times Square to Texas, from Chile to Canada, from Endicott to England, the two have acted in and taught at regional, national and international theaters.

The pair will lead a theatre trip to Canada from Aug. 23-27 featuring stops in Toronto and at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford.

A couple of years ago the Alumni Office connected Kremer and Hanscom with a company called Travel with the Experts. The company offers specialized tours with accompanying guides who provide a unique expertise to enhance the trip’s value.

Kremer said their groups may join standard tours when they arrive at certain sites, but he and Hanscom “connect the dots for the group in many ways.” There are discussions before and after performances, backstage tours and historical walks. “We can cross-reference people, plays and places, and provide an historical or technical perspective.”

Indeed, said Hanscom: “Getting to know theatre and getting involved in the art and process is as important as what’s on stage.”

Last semester, Kremer was on sabbatical at Douc Universidad Catolica, the professional school branch of Catholic University of Chile, where he taught acting and directing.

“There were no formal classes,” he said. “All the classes were productions.”

His “teaching” was the directing of two productions. The greatest challenge, he said, was to direct students who spoke a language he didn’t.

Hanscom and their son, Peter, accompanied Kremer to Chile. She immersed herself in studying Spanish and attending Spanish theatre. Hanscom and Kremer observed the difference in cultures when it comes to communication and physical expression on the stage. Chileans, they said, are more natural in their total body movements, a combination of cultural influence and actor training.

Hanscom said she has tried to give her Binghamton acting students a global perspective, impressing upon them that there are countries and cultures far different in customs, technology and opportunities than their own.

“I would like them to have a broader world view,” she said, “to widen their focus beyond their immediate space.”

By bringing Chilean students to campus this spring and working on scenes from American plays for a cross-cultural performance workshop, Kremer provided an initial opportunity to share, compare and work together. Next spring, another group of his Chilean students will come to perform a bilingual West Side Story on campus. Kremer hopes to have Binghamton students travel to Chile and stage the same performance there.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08