Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 15, 2004

Thai Dance and Drama Troupe to Perform at Whitworth, in Spokane

The Christian Communications Institute (CCI), a dance and drama troupe from Payap University, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, will perform at Whitworth College and at several Spokane churches April 27-29 as part of the troupe's West Coast tour. The program will feature several dances from various regions in Thailand as well as a traditional Thai melodrama, known as Ligay, accompanied by English translation.

The Whitworth performance will take place Wednesday, April 28, at 7 p.m. in Seeley Mudd Chapel. Admission is free; a free-will offering will be taken to support the CCI's travel expenses. During their tour in Spokane, the group will visit Whitworth classes and will conduct workshops for students. For more information about the Whitworth performance or for details for performances at Spokane churches, please call (509) 777-4204.

Directed by the Rev. Rob Collins, the seven-member professional troupe incorporates traditional Thai dance and drama with Christian parables and biblical stories to promote international cultural exchange and a global Christian community. Founded 26 years ago, the CCI uses traditional Thai art forms to translate and incorporate Christian truths and ethics into Thai culture. The troupe shares its blending of Thai culture and Christian spirituality throughout Thailand and the United States.

The CCI's Whitworth and Spokane performances are the result of a connection made between the group and Whitworth English Professor Pamela Corpron Parker, who co-led a January 2004 study program, "Globalizing Faith, Globalizing Gender," in Thailand.

During the month-long program, Parker, along with Whitworth business and education faculty, taught Whitworth students as they explored the effects of the globalizing influences on Thai economics, education, religion and gender roles.

Throughout the group's travels to Bangkok, the hill-tribe villages surrounding Chiang Mai and the island of Koh Samui, students studied contemporary and classical Thai culture, engaged in intercultural and interfaith dialogues, and acted as participant-observers in internships and service-learning opportunities.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Contacts:

Pamela Corpron Parker, associate professor of English and director of the women's studies program, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4204 or pamelaparker@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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