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SAU Theatre Goes International

February 2012

With graduation looming, and the last three shows of the season on the SAU department's mind, one student is preparing for a whole different kind of experience - studying abroad.

Valerie Zawada, '13, will be studying at the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic. Zawada has been wanting to study abroad for some time now, and started looking into Prague at the beginning of her sophomore year. Zawada is a double major in Theatre and International Business, and one of the requirements for the International Business major is study abroad.

When asked why she chose Prague, Zawada says, "My whole family is Polish, but SAU had no programs there. The Czech Republic was the next best thing, plus I've heard nothing but good things about Prague itself."

Zawada departs February 10, and has spent her extra time off reading up on Prague and the surrounding areas. "Prague is a very cool city," she says, "I'm most excited to check out the theatre scene when I'm there, because they do very different stuff than in the US."

Prague is best known for its black light and "laterna magika," or magic lantern, theatre. Zawada explains that "black light and magic lantern theatre is characteristic only of Prague. Both incorporate ballet, film and other visual effects (such as glow in the dark paint) into the telling of the story. Marionette Theatre is another prominent form there."

Prague also is known for its National Theatre, one of the most important cultural institutions of Central/Eastern Europe. "The National Theatre is a landmark in the Czech Republic. It's known for its splendor, rich history, and incredibly talented performers and artists," Zawada says.

Besides theatre, Zawada also will be participating in several excursions including trips to Austria, Poland and the Czech Country side. "I would love to plan some independent trips while I'm there too, in addition to those provided by my program," she says.

And then?

"Definitely the pubs," Zawada says. "Czechs are known for their excellent brew crafting skills. Oh and studying, of course."

We wish Zawada a safe journey abroad and will be waiting patiently for her monthly update. If you're interested in more frequent updates, Zawada will be keeping a travel blog. Please email her at for the link!

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