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Up with People brings the world to the Boro


August 19, 2015

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    The multinational cast of Up with People is in the middle of an international tour to mark the group’s 50th anniversary of helping and entertaining communities of all sizes — and on Friday, Aug. 28, they'll be bringing their show back to Statesboro.  
    Up with People visited Statesboro back in 2013, but if you saw their last show, have no fear: This year's production is a completely different affair. The all-new show, “The Journey,” is a Broadway-style musical variety show that takes audience members on a voyage spanning decades and cultural borders, with music from around the world and from many different time periods. Performed by a cast of 120 singers, dancers and musicans representing 20 different countries, "The Journey" puts a high-energy focus on raising awareness of social justice and equality through music.
    "The Journey" show will take place at Statesboro High School on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for children, students and seniors, and they can be purchased at the door, through the Averitt Center for the Arts box office or online at upwithpeople.org/statesboro.
    During the week leading up to their live variety show, the group will be volunteering with several different nonprofit and education groups throughout Bulloch County, including: Habitat for Humanity, Fostering Bulloch, the Boys & Girls Club, Choices of the Heart, Safe Haven and a few of the local schools.
    While in the Statesboro Aug. 24–31, Up with People will also live with local host families to share cultures and customs. Host families are still being sought.
    Just before the show, at 4 p.m. on Aug. 28, Up with People will host an Open Door Day to invite young adults from Statesboro and the surrounding areas to come learn how they can travel and perform in one of Up with People's 22-week sessions. College students may be interested to know that they can earn 12 university credit hours for participation in the program — all while traveling around the world with an eclectic, multinational group of musical millennials.
    Janne Van Doorslaer, 22, of Belgium, is participating in Up with People for the first time as her gap semester in the middle of her masters program, in which she is studying work and organizational psychology. The experience has been an immersive one for her, putting her onstage for the first time and plunging her into the company of wildly different people. In addition to the fun of the travel, performance and getting to meet new people, Van Doorslaer said that she is gaining plenty of pre-profressional experience as well.
    "I think all those skills that you learn here, like public speaking or doing interviews, help you grow as a person, and I think it will help me in my studies and later in my life," Van Doorslaer said. "I really felt that it was the right moment, and I love traveling, so I felt like it was the right time to do it!"
    Statesboro will be one of only 15 stops in the United States portion of the tour.  As part of their 18-month celebration to the world — with more than 45 stops across the United States, Europe and Mexico — the Up with People cast also will be going to Brussels, Belgium, Mexico City, Mexico, Munich, Germany, Orlando and Rome.
    Anyone interested in hosting a cast member or learning more about the program may contact Chelsea Glosser at (216) 258-8181 or cglosser@upwithpeople.org.

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