MEIP Testimonials

  1. The International Playhouse gave me the opportunity to deepen my understanding of my target language's culture, put my speaking skills to the test, and most importantly, it pushed me to put myself out there and try something new. It was an unforgettable experience not only for me as a performer, but also for the lucky audiences who came to enjoy the drama and humor in storytelling from around the globe right here at UCSC. I hope the Playhouse can continue to whisk away performers and audiences alike to new worlds and tell exciting stories across language barriers for many years to come. There's really nothing like it anywhere else.

    -Alexandria Sun, 2019 Participant

  2. During my experience with the International Playhouse, I was able to reach a level of language capacity that I do not believe I would have reached by simply taking the main French grammar courses at UCSC. Since the entire process was conducted in French, from auditions to rehearsals, one has the ultimate opportunity to develop a level of speaking and pronunciation that many instructors do not focus on very much anymore in the class room. I will say that the most challenging part of the Playhouse was trying to convey thoughts and expressions of emotions through a language that is not my own, and to convey a character that has many distinct levels to their personality. This proved to be difficult when combined with the level of memorization, pronunciation drills (French vowels are a killer), and overall theatricalities that are necessary to put on a play of any kind, particularly one that rhymes. However, by the end of our run, I felt that my fluency had improved tremendously and my comprehension had broadened in a way that I could not have attained in a classroom. This gave me more confidence to study abroad, return, and be a part of the Playhouse in another production this year. (I played Argan in LE MALADE IMAGINAIRE in 2013 and Panisse in MARIUS this year). Being involved in the International Playhouse is an amazing opportunity that takes a great deal of dedication and responsibility, but the payoff is more that worth it in the end. (Z. S.)
  3. UCSC's International Playhouse is a unique opportunity for language students to expand their abilities in an immersive, exciting, and downright fun setting. I did a lot of activities with the Language Department during my time at UCSC, but Playhouse is by far the most memorable experience I had. Performing on-stage skits in front of a live audience is one of the best ways to learn a language, and I can definitely say that doing so had an outsize impact on my skills as both a student and teacher of language. Playhouse is a blast to watch as well, and has become a widely anticipated community tradition over the twenty years of its existence. I consider my time working with International Playhouse to be one of the formative experiences in my journey towards mastery of a second language, and I highly recommend it to students who are looking for a serious opportunity to improve their skills.

    -Bill Flynn, 2010 & 2011 Participant

  4. International Playhouse gave me an opportunity to practice and utilize the language in a new and exciting way. Through rehearsals and performances, I made fast friends with my cast mates and witnessed the linguistic talents of students from the entire department. I don't believe my undergraduate career in Italian Studies would have been complete without this experience. (M. M.)
  5. I am delighted to hear that the UCSC International Playhouse is celebrating its 20th anniversary. As a Japanese major, I participated in the Playhouse in 2009, in a play entitled UCSC: The Musical, which was written by Professor Sakae Fujita specifically for the occasion. It was an absolute pleasure preparing for and performing this play, and in many ways the whole experience felt like a celebration of everything we as advanced language students had accomplished during our time studying with the Japanese department. I believe I speak for everyone when I say that it was extremely gratifying to be given the chance to publicly display our skills, and I truly believe that through our performances we were able to convey to the audience some of the joy of studying languages at UCSC. Professor Fujita and the other members of staff are all dedicated and talented instructors, and they worked passionately to help us students cultivate our linguistic abilities. In this way the Playhouse is also a celebration of them, and the ways they continue to inspire in us a love of communication and international exchange. It is my ardent hope that, although the International Playhouse is already celebrating its 20th anniversary, it will be able to celebrate as many more going into the future. In doing so, I am confident that UCSC will continue in the same way to inspire among its audiences a passion for languages, as well as an understanding of the necessity of international engagement. 

    - Ian Hamilton, 2009 participant

  6. As a Global Economics major, I was never given the opportunity to study any of the arts, only given the opportunity to study a language. Taking part in the playhouse was one of the fulfilling and joyful learning experiences at UC Santa Cruz. I never would have thought that I would enjoy theatre, and I am extremely happy that I decided to go out on a limb and try it out before I graduate. The only regret I have was not taking the class 4 years ago as a freshman. Being part of the International Playhouse taught me not only about theatre, voice projection, makeup, posture, but it also taught me a lot about myself. I learned how to act a little out of character, take myself a little bit less seriously, and most of all be confident in myself. As a Global Economics major, I don't know what sort of class I could have taken that would have taught me all these traits, now do I know many other classes or majors that teach me these. To anyone who is learning or can speak a foreign language, I strongly recommend them to take this course, you will not regret it. (J.F.)
  7. In 2007, I played the role of a servant in a kyogen play, a type of traditional Japanese comedic performance. I had such a blast participating in the production. It gave me a chance of a lifetime to learn this ancient art form first-hand. It's one thing to speak Japanese, but it's quite another thing to read and memorize a play script in Old Japanese and act out the comedic scenes. As a Japanese-American, I cherish it as one of my most memorable experiences at UC Santa Cruz.

    - Mai Ishikawa Sutton, Class of 2009