Abilene Christian University’s Ethnos performance is back for its 31st year of production at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3-4 at Boone Family Theatre with a show theme of Echoes.
In 1992, three years after the inception of the International Students’ Association, the Culture Show was created to showcase different cultural groups at Abilene Christian University. Now called Ethnos, the showcase lives on for ISA 30 years later. Veronica Summers (’12), director of international student services at ACU, coordinates the 120-performer production. Summers has been involved in the show for 14 years.
“Ethnos was a very significant and memorable part of my time at ACU,” Summers said. “Ethnos was where I made some of my dearest friends in college, but it was also where I found a deep love and appreciation for the uniqueness found in each of us and the beauty of how something like Ethnos can bring so many different people from different backgrounds together.”
Ethnos has expanded to include the Abilene community as well, with organizations such as the Tahitian dance group Hoa Rahi, Ballet Folklorico del Big Country, and the Big Country Mariachi participating.
“A lot of the magic happens behind the scenes, during rehearsals and many late night practices,” Summers said. “This is where walls are broken down and relationships are built. This is where people grow to appreciate the different cultures they learn from but also realize that despite our differences, we can still come together to create something spectacular.”
Planning and executing the production takes significant effort and participation from everyone involved. Summers said the planning process begins in the summer and takes the entirety of the semester to execute. Details include interest meetings, auditions and two sets of reviews to monitor the progress of the differing acts. A record 18 acts will be participating in the event this year. The production team is split up into numerous groups to fulfill the goals and meet the quality desired for the show.
ISA cultivates a community to integrate and support international students’ academic, spiritual and social growth at ACU. The association celebrates the international cultures represented by our students through annual events like the Ethnos Culture Show but also the International Food Festival, Spring Escape and Spring Banquet as well as a weekly small group ISA chapel.
A portion of ticket sales for the show will be donated to a local non-profit as well.
“Ethnos is also one of ISA’s biggest fundraisers which helps fund and support other international student events and needs throughout the year,” Summers said. “By coming to the show, your support is twofold in that you are not only supporting the show but you are also supporting the international student community in a much larger way.”
— Connor Mullins
Oct. 17, 2023