Upcoming GENseng play a collaborative effort

"Mask Dance" Directed by Randy KaplanRobert Sinclair Theatre Thursday - 7 p.m. Friday - 4 p.m.Saturday - 2 p.m.

Geneseo's Asian American Performance Ensemble, GENseng, in keeping with the 10 years of austere reputation that has put out such plays as "Nanking Winter" last semester, is yet again tackling a production that stretches beyond the walls of the Black Box Theatre.

"Mask Dance" will run from April 29 to May 1, under the direction of professor Randy Kaplan. According to Kaplan, playwright and friend Rick Shiomi lent exclusive permission to GENseng for the show, which is based on his interviews with Korean adoptees and incorporates traditional art forms.

"GENseng has always sought to explore and present the diversity that is the Asian American experience, and we have taken a fairly comprehensive look … but the experience of Asian American adoptees is something that we still needed to address in order to truly identify the ensemble as 'Pan Asian' and wholly inclusive," Kaplan said.

The play's premise seems to translate nicely to both the arts and educationally at Geneseo. It provided an opportunity for sophomore Christina Park to shine in her role of choreographer and musical director, and for professor Crystal Ferrell's Theater 305 class to design all of the masks to be worn in the show.

Additionally, sophomore Shea Frazier conducted comprehensive research through first-hand accounts of Korean adoptions as dramaturge. Her findings are on display in the Black Box Lobby of Brodie Hall.

Last Wednesday, GENseng alumna Dana LePage, class of '06, gave a talk to supplement the play, entitled, "Somewhere In-Between: Learning to Find Balance Growing Up as an Interracial Adoptee." The event was supported by Multicultural Programming and Events, the Department of Sociology and Asian/Asian-American Studies and Programming.

Collaboration has been the driving factor in preparations for "Mask Dance," which Kaplan pointed out as something novel for the project as a whole. "It was important to do this play for so many reasons," she said.

Curtains open this Thursday at 7 p.m. and there are shows on Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. as well. Tickets are $7.