A scene from Kanjush, the Bangladesh troupe's version of Moliere's The Miser, at the AACT WorldFest 2014 at Venice Theatre, Venice, FL. The production won an award for outstanding costumes.
[Photo by Jay Handelman, courtesy Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
aactWorldFest is a week-long international community theatre festival, sponsored by AACT and held every four years, with aactWorldFest 2018 scheduled for June 18-24, 2018.
At the 2014 AACT WorldFest, top-quality theatre troupes from 13 countries around the globe presented over 30 performances in one week in Venice, Florida. Many groups performed in their native language, but audiences followed what was happening … in whatever theatre form it was presented. The language of theatre is universal! More than 20 workshops were offered in 2014, involving a variety of theatre forms. Participants learned about Chinese opera, commedia dell’ arte, multi-media influences on modern theatre and more. Delightful dinners, after-glow gatherings, impromptu drum circles, and “lobby gabs” make up the recipe for life-long, global friendships!
Back Again in 2018
Citing a strong volunteer force, a professional production staff and organizational experience, AACT has decided to bring its quadrennial international festival back to Venice Theatre in 2018.
“No town could have welcomed us better,” said AACT President Gary Walker at the end of an emotional closing ceremonies for AACT WorldFest 2014. The festivities recognized the dozen theater troupes around the world who performed during the week-long festival. Murray Chase, Venice Theater’s executive and artistic director, said about 400 people, including 130 performers and crews, came from out of town for the week-long festival.
Walker said Venice Theatre has now twice demonstrated an impressive ability to produce the festival, which also was held in Venice in 2010, and dubbed 'Festival in Paradise.'
“It’s a great location, and they have the most amazing group of volunteers who have a passion for the community and for the theater,” Walker said.
Throughout the awards ceremonies, representatives from different international troupes thanked the the theater’s volunteers and home hosts, and how the festival brought cultures together.
“I want to thank the festival for proving that the theater world isn’t flat,” said Canadian actor Jeff Bastien, who performed in the play Babel Rap. “Imagine a place where everyone from around the world can come together and work together. That is paradise.”