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Students make cultural connections with Ugandan play

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Rocky Mount High School theater students participated in a Ugandan Performance Tour to local schools.

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From Contributed Reports

Sunday, December 2, 2018

On Nov. 1, Rocky Mount High School theater students went on their Ugandan Performance Tour and premiered their original play about Ugandan culture, “Bridging Cultures,” for Nash-Rocky Mount middle and elementary schools students.

On Nov. 2, the students showcased their final performance for friends and family of the Rocky Mount community at the high school. The “Bridging Cultures Project” was conceived and implemented by the theater arts teacher Kristin Lundberg, and she is ecstatic that this three-year dream project in development has become a reality.

Over the course of seven weeks, the theater students engaged in exploring cultural influences and historical events through devising original theater for students and making cultural connections with the Asante Ngoma Children’s Theater in East Uganda, Africa. The overall production was directed by Lundberg, a New York City actress and ECU alumna who is a native of Rocky Mount. Portions of the performance were co-directed by theater arts students Eden Curtiss and Allison Baker.

The performance began with an exploration station pre-show in the theater lobby displaying the students “We Are Poems,” which detail how students are empowered to change the world. The lights went up on Allison Levijoki and the Ugandan Dancers as they dramatized a poem written Ugandan poet Mulumba Matia. Students then performed their original show which they wrote, directed and designed called “The Tales of Uganda,” which focused on the African child and Ugandan culture. To celebrate the end of the performance, Lundberg engaged the audience and the performers in making an African rainstorm.

The Rocky Mount High School theater students are excited and hopeful to send a care package of puppets they made for their Asante friends as well as toys for the holidays. They would love to have community sponsors to assist them in shipping the package. Anyone who would like to be a Gryphon hero can contact Lundberg at kalundberg@nrms.k12.nc.us.

“We would like to aim in receiving monetary donations no later than Dec. 15 to ensure the packages are sent in time for the holidays,” Lundberg said.

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