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May 23, 2013

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Broadway's Jody Madaras to join Musical Theatre Camp

High school singers with a love for musical theatre can get an insider’s perspective from Broadway performer Jody Madaras, guest artist at the upcoming Musical Theatre Camp.

Part of the College of Musical Arts’ Summer Music Institute, the camp will be held June 27 through July 3 on the BGSU campus. The registration deadline is June 5.

The Musical Theatre Camp is an opportunity for talented high school vocalists entering grades 10 through 12 to strengthen their performing skills through movement classes, vocal warm-ups, improvisations, scene work, master classes and more. Directed by musical theatre specialist Dr. Michael Ellison, students will work with faculty and guest instructors for the week, then will perform a final concert.

Madaras, a Bowling Green native and former artistic director of the Pemberville Opera, is known for his acting, singing, directing and choreography. He has appeared on and off Broadway and on TV, and was recently part of the first national tour of the award-winning “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

He also co-conceived the new 1940s musical revue “All Hands on Deck!” The nostalgic, patriotic tribute will be performed as part of the city of Bowling Green’s Independence Day celebration at 6 p.m. July 3 in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Campers will not only receive two tickets to “All Hands on Deck!” but will also have the opportunity to audition for a guest spot in the show.

Other patrons may purchase tickets online at www.bgsu.edu/arts.

For more information, visit Summer Music Institute or call 419-372-2182.

Other camps offered this summer include the Piano, String, Double Reed, Vocal Arts, Recording, Brass, Super Sax, and Flute camps.

 


Students reflect deeply on aspects of 'Asian American'

Essay contest winners (left to right) Rosa Araya, Kevin Lewis and Sebastian Eifrid.

It is one thing to read someone’s reflections on a topic. But to hear those reflections spoken aloud can better convey their emotional truth. Krishna Han, assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), was struck by this when he heard the winners of an OMA essay contest read their work on the theme “Asian American.”

As part of its Ethnic Student Center, the office coordinated the contest to help celebrate Asian Heritage Month and provide a platform for reflection. Students were invited to reflect on the ways in which media, culture, and history have created knowledge about and by Asian Americans, and describe what they felt defines someone as Asian American.

“There were 18 essay submissions, and I was pleased with the essay quality and the intentionality of critical reflection that shined through each essay,” Han said. All essays were judged anonymously, he added.  

The three winners of the contest were announced April 22 in a ceremony during which participants shared their thoughts and experiences about writing the essays with the audience of faculty, staff and community members.

Ray Plaza, OMA associate director and one of the three judges, said, “I particularly appreciate hearing students’ voices after reading those essays, which made each essay even more powerful.”

Sebastian Eifrid, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, won first place. He described his recollection of growing up in Bowling Green with some of his Asian friends, who joked about each other or were poked fun at, and little did he realize that behind the playful jests were serious and deeply rooted issues of self-identification and stereotypes.

He wrote, “It wasn’t until I was in high school that I truly became aware of just how impactful an identifying label can be for an individual’s growth and even one’s sense of worth. Coming from a white, European background, self-identity was never an issue for me—in fact, I thought little of it, and if I did, I often thought that I was the most mundane out of my group of friends. Perhaps because of this, I commonly thought that my friends of Asian descent all simply saw themselves as ‘Asian,’ and nothing more specific—much as most whites see themselves simply as Caucasian: a conglomeration of various European descents. However, I was able to realize how wrong my preconceived notions were … and Asian American does not mean one thing—and to think it does ignores the cultures and identities suffocating underneath the label.”

Kevin Lewis, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, won second place. Lewis, who identifies himself as African American, reflected that after coming to college, he has begun to explore the terms “race” and “ethnicity,” which were synonymous to him at one point.

Rosa Araya, a sophomore in the College of Health and Human Services, won third place. The stereotypes can be positive or negative, but the burden people face of feeling compelled to live up to a standard or disprove a stereotype can be burdensome and sometimes oppressive, she wrote.

“During the times in which segregation of white people and African Americans was enforced, the Asian Americans paced restlessly at the sidelines, aware that they belonged in neither of the two categories.”

“It is obvious that there is a need to highlight the Asian American experiences on our campus, and I am delighted to see strong interests and enthusiasm expressed by our students, faculty, staff, and community members,” Han said.

 

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