Get some culture: Multicultural theatre initiative

Actors all around: The goal of the Multicultural Theatre Initiative is to include members of all backgrounds, even those who aren't used to reading scripts. The group performs Plains this weekend in Murphy Hall.

The Multicultural Theatre Initiative (MTI) opens the stage for diverse plays and student opportunities. The group started at KU in 2008 and has performed subject matter ranging from puppets to teen violence.

?The point of multicultural theater is to involve everyone, says Jackie Koester, group member and Hoisington senior. "If it only had a pool of theater majors, it wouldn't exemplify campus. I've seen computer programmers and engineers who can act."

Not only does the group involve outside majors, but members take on diverse roles. Performing in the puppet act last year, Jenny Curatola, Lansing sophomore, takes on leadership, co-directing their upcoming show, Plains. "It doesn't matter if you have no experience. I'd never directed," she says.

MTI steps away from well-known plots, reading and developing original scripts. Plains, which was written by Harry Meech from Wainuiomata, New Zealand, and received the New Zealand Young Playwright award in 2009, is about the post apocalypse and what people do with their lives. Meech, who co-directs with Curatola, steps out of the writer role to develop the characters from his script.

Plains will be performed for the first time by the MTI On Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. The free play will be in the William Inge Theatre in Murphy Hall.

?"Why pass up free entertainment that applies to your life?" Curatola says.