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"Spinning Into Butter" Discussions Explore Diversity at RU

RU Department of Theatre & Cinema presents "Spinning Into Butter"

Radford University’s Department of Theatre and Cinema recently presented several performances of Spinning Into Butter in the Pridemore Playhouse.  In line with the Scholar-Citizen initiative, events were held following the October 5th and 11th performances to get the audience talking about issues addressed in the play.

The first event, an audience talk-back moderated by Associate Professor Jennifer Juul, was held after the opening night performance.  

“We often have talk-backs following a show which are based on the production aspects and the process of realizing the show onstage,” Juul said. “However, we thought that the subject matter of this particular play, as well as its setting on a college campus, would warrant more communication about the issues it raises. Also, we were asked to do it as part of the ‘Creative Arts’ theme week on campus.”

The audience members who stayed after the show were very receptive to the dialogue and participated by voicing their opinions on the matters. This is exactly what Professor Juul had hoped for going into the talk-back.

“I hoped that people would be willing to put themselves out there a little beyond their comfort zone. In a group like that, I imagine many folks are afraid of embarrassing themselves or offending someone. But if we don't take risks and communicate now and then, it's our loss,” Juul said.

Brooke Chang, RU’s Director of Diversity and Equity, moderated the second event held right after the performance on October 11th.  This was a discussion featuring a panel of student leaders. The panel helped open the audience up by sharing their views and personal stories dealing with racism or prejudice.  Emily Redd, SGA President, was one of the students on the panel and shared her struggles with being stereotyped because of her accent and her Southwest Virginia origins. Former student body president Lee Hicks talked about the challenges he faces as a biracial man here on campus.

Juul views the opportunities for students and faculty to speak out on important matters such as this very valuable. She added, “Any time we have a chance to open up, talk to each other and share, we find we have more in common with others than we think. It helps us to find common ground, understanding, and compassion toward one another.”

Oct 19, 2012
College of Visual & Performing Arts

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