Theatre to Perform Around The World in 80 Days

Daja Dansby, editor

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For the winter show, the theatre department is performing Around the World in 80 Days tonight through Saturday at 7 p.m.

“It’s a good play for people to come and watch to see what theatre is and how creative you can get with it,” Director Kenneth Fudge said. “Because some things are not reality-based we’ve pushed the boundaries with costumes and accents. We’re trying to make it more inviting and funnier to watch.”

Senior Tshiama Mpanda plays a Frenchman named Passapartout.

“I was extremely surprised when I was cast because this is only my second production,” she said. “Never in a million years did I think I’d get a lead role. I love the character I get to play. I like running around everywhere and playing with accents.”

Fudge saw Around the World in 80 Days at its first showing in 1999.

“I fell in love with it,” he said. “When I was given the opportunity to direct and asked to do a show that has a lot of actors in it to build the program, I thought that Around the World in 80 Days would be perfect because I can use up to 40 actors. I chose it to get as many students involved as possible.

The show involves two worlds.

“My concept was to have two worlds, the shadow world and the real world and to have them on stage sometimes together and sometimes separate,” Fudge said. “We’re treating it almost like they’re extras in a movie where they create the environment that we see actors in. They create the London street, a crowded social club and travel as we see things come by. They help further tell the story in a clear way.”

The cast has been rehearsing since October.

“I find it easier for me to practice at home and then come to rehearsals with my things prepared so I can get feedback,” junior Hannah Phan said. “It’s really fun working with the cast. We had a lot of fun on stage though sometimes it annoyed the directors.”

Students can buy tickets at the door for $5, while adults can purchase them for $7.

“I would love to sell 200 tickets every night,” Fudge said “We’ve worked so hard on it and an audience coming would really be a boost to the program, help us feel proud of what we’ve done and help recruit more students. My goal is to sell out at least half of the shows.”

Phan said that this is a show that many will enjoy. 

She said, “It’s definitely an experience and I want them to come through this journey we have with us.”