A play created by The University of Toledo Black Theatre Ensemble and students in the Department of Theatre and Film was showcased at this year’s annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for Region III.
Titled “20K Leagues Under the Sea” and based on the novel by Jules Verne, it uses the story of Captain Nemo’s fight against injustice and oppression to reflect a contemporary narrative.
Following the virtual festival’s conclusion on Jan. 9, a performance of the play is now available to watch online.
Recorded in September, the production included primarily student writers, a team of student directors and a large ensemble-based cast. The performance was captured by students and faculty from the Department of Communications.
Being accepted into the festival puts the student work and production into consideration for national awards that will be announced in the spring.
In 2019, UToledo’s production of “All Quiet on the Western Front” received the Kennedy Center’s David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award for outstanding new college play of the year.
The choice of UToledo’s 2020-21 production came about last summer, as the UToledo Black Theatre Ensemble and students in the Department of Theatre and Film searched for a project that would address the urgent conversation of social justice while finding a way to safely and effectively perform during the global health crisis.
Believing the best way to learn theater is through theater-making, and knowing time was short and the avenues to do this safely were few, the ensemble set out to build a piece that sought to interrogate systems of oppression and injustice while finding an innovative way to share the story in this unprecedented time.