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GVSU Professor Ellis will be traveling to Belgium to continue his work with the International Theatre Association. During this trip he will be selecting international theatre companies for the World Festival of International Amateur Theatre.

The International Amateur Theatre Association (IATA) works to promote education through theatre. Ellis will be helping the International Theatre Association by selecting no more than 20 theatre companies to represent this year’s theme of “On the Run” which will highlight the experience of refugees, immigrants, or exiles. Ellis described his criteria when judging the theatre companies.

“We want to choose a group that would be globally representative and works with high artistic standards,” said Ellis. “The theme-centered festival is unusual and important because it guarantees that most of the groups applying to the festival will have created the work specifically for the festival. So, we’re likely to see very recent and original work.”

Before this trip, Ellis has been to Belgium four times in his work with the International Theatre Association. He described his excitement to return and explore the country.

“The country is rich in cultural distinction and I enjoy its historical architecture and the friendliness of the people,” said Ellis. “I’m going to the ancient city of Antwerp, which takes its name from the historic custom of chopping-off the thief’s hand and tossing it into the local river as punishment for thievery. Of course, Belgian chocolate is famous and I always bring some home for the wife and family.”

Ellis is also interested in the theatre performances in Belgium.

“The Belgians do some of the most creative theatre in Europe, so I hope to catch a performance or two while I’m there.”

More information about the IATA and the World Festival of International Amateur Theatre is available at http://www.aitaiata.org/gil/.

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