Holly Holsinger, Associate Professor and Chair at Cleveland State University's Department of Theatre and Dance Shines on the World Stage at South Korea's Global Women's Performing Arts Festival
Cleveland, Ohio – Holly Holsinger, an esteemed member of Cleveland State University's Department of Theatre and Dance, has recently returned from a triumphant journey to South Korea, where she left an indelible mark on the Global Women's Performing Arts Festival (GWPAF). In a stunning world premiere performance, Holsinger captured the life of Helen Keller at three pivotal moments in history, showcasing her talent and commitment to accessibility.
In a groundbreaking collaboration, Holly Holsinger joined forces with Korean and Japanese performers Ji Young and Nakasima Sato, as well as the One Dance Project Group, to bring to life "My Dear, Helen" by Hyeja Ju. This extraordinary performance was designed with a "barrier-free" approach, ensuring inclusivity for those with vision and hearing impairments. The result was nothing short of remarkable, with over 1,000 enthusiastic audience members at the illustrious 800-seat Haneulyeon Theater in Busan applauding the production's innovation and artistry.
This venture to South Korea was not Holsinger's first of the year. In June, she traveled to the country to rehearse a showcase production of "My Dear, Helen." Additionally, Holsinger co-led a transformative five-day workshop in performance creation alongside Raymond Bobgan, the Executive Artistic Director of Cleveland Public Theatre. This workshop centered around women's rights and empowerment, fostering a community of fourteen remarkable women who shared their stories of courage, gave voice to their female ancestors, and collectively looked toward a brighter future for themselves and their daughters. A short documentary capturing this powerful process was showcased at the GWPAF last month. During her time in South Korea, Holsinger also served on a panel, exploring ways for theatres to engage more meaningfully with their communities. She presented her insights into the creative process behind "Ancestra," a project initiated with CSU students and a Summer Research grant in 2013, with upcoming productions scheduled at CSU and Oberlin College in February 2024.
This incredible journey was made possible through the support of Professor Jakyung Seo of Kent State University, who not only facilitated the trip but also provided invaluable guidance and translation throughout the adventure.
Holly Holsinger's participation in the GWPAF exemplifies Cleveland State University's commitment to the arts, inclusivity, and community engagement. Her outstanding contributions continue to shine a spotlight on our university and its dedication to the world of performing arts.