One day, two theater performance professors pondered over coffee what the chances would be of starting an experimental theatre festival in the heart of the Midwest. "What an absurd thought," they laughed to themselves
When the laughing stopped, they began to work.
This was the beginning of Xfest at SIUE.
For four days in May, four theater companies (one local, two from New York City and one from Seattle) will come to the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to perform their original experimental theater works and offer workshops to students and to the public in general. In addition to our academic season of eclectic plays and summer season of musicals, this is a wonderful opportunity to bring a different style of theater to our community. It is also a chance to expand the University's Arts & Issues series into the early summer. Without the support of Arts & Issues and the University, this dream might not have happened. We also thank University Marketing and Communications for seeing the potential of this event and adding their advice and energies.
As we develop this first festival, the hope for the future is that our campus might become a mecca for all kinds of experimental theatre companies and artists to come and not only perform but, create and develop new works while here. As a Department of Theater and Dance within a liberal arts university, part of our strategic plan is to seek an identity that makes our department unique among our peers, as well as other liberal arts B.A. theater programs across the country. We believe that exposing our students to unique styles of theater and allowing them freedom to understand and create their own theater works can make this happen.
Peter Cocuzza, Executive Producer
Chuck Harper, Artistic Director