Centre alumni tour regional theaters in England
Centre College’s commitment to study abroad doesn’t end once students graduate. Alumni often continue to travel the world on trips led by Centre professors.
Professor of Dramatic Arts Tony Haigh (pictured above) recently led a group of alumni and friends on a 19-day tour of regional theaters in the English countryside.
Traveling in their own bus, the group visited 13 cities and attended performances of plays at 14 regional theaters. During the daytime and on free days, the group took in the local sights: they had afternoon tea in Harrogate, a spa town in North Yorkshire, and went on a tour of Chatsworth House, the model for Pemberley in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
For Haigh, it was “hard to say” which show was his favorite.
“Was it the venues that were outstanding?” he pondered. “King John in a medieval church in Northampton, or the architecturally significant Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, or the challenge of Noël Coward played in the round at Stoke-on-Trent?”
The best part of the trip, truly, was simply traveling with the group under his charge (pictured right).
“The high point was the sheer fun of seven like-minded theater enthusiasts, aged from 27 to 77, traveling together in a van, exploring parts of England not usually visited by American tourists and talking about the shared experience of the theater,” Haigh said.
This trip is just one of several excursions abroad taken by alumni. Throughout the past 50 years, faculty have taken interested alums to France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Spain.
Director of International Programs Milton Reigelman has led seven of these trips with his wife, Sandy, since 2000. Most recently, they led a riverboat trip to Belgium and the Netherlands.
“These trips have averaged about 25 alums and typically lasted 10-12 days,” Reigelman explained. “Many alums who go are retired folks who want to keep learning, though there are always some younger folks the faculty have gotten to know as students.”
The trips are often structured like CentreTerm courses—without the work. Reigelman admits that he has broken this mold and assigned readings and films for his “students” to view before they depart, but says most of his fellow travelers do a fair amount of research on their own.
“The goal of alumni trips is the same as CentreTerm courses abroad: expanding one’s knowledge through carefully planned and guided travel—but without the tests, papers and grades,” Reigelman concluded.
Upcoming trips will be posted on the Centre College Alumni website.
by Hayley Hoffman ‘16
July 14, 2015