Posting Date: January 29, 2010
TPS students and alumnus create innovative contemporary works as The Collective
New theater company cultivates local artistic community
By Tabatha Wahlquist
Members of The Collective
Photo by Linda Tincher
Poster for The Collective's
upcoming production of "Rising Sons"
In the fall of 2008, Kennesaw State University Theatre and Performance Studies students Phillip Justman and Andrew Puckett and alumnus Corey Bradberry formed The Collective, “an all-volunteer group of young professional and student artists from the Atlanta community who are dedicated to the advancement of theatre and the creation of new theatrical work.”
The theater company is home to more than 20 members, consisting of performers, designers, visual artists, stage managers and marketers. The Collective explores ensemble work, writing, improvisation, physical play and musicality. Justman explains, “We take an idea, script or work of art and we filter it through the modern artist to see what he or she has to say about the times we live in.”
Aside from exploring various stage techniques and methods of production, the group also connects artists to fellow community members. “Through working with The Collective I have come to know and work with local musicians, visual artists, business owners, theatrical artists and community leaders who are all wonderful people,” says Justman.
The Collective was recently commissioned to write and perform a comedy about the city of Marietta. The group is working in conjunction with the educational department at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre in the Marietta Square to produce the piece. “It will be a piece illustrating the history of Marietta in a fun, educational, hilarious way,” explains Justman. The comedy is currently in the workshop stage of production.
Meanwhile, The Collective is currently co-producing a show with Healing Spirit Arts entitled “Rising Sons,” which will be performed at the 7 Stages Theatre. The show examines the coming of age of a young man and is an original performance piece exploring soul initiation, rites of passage, father and son relationships and patrilineage through spoken word, realism, dance, storytelling and slam poetry. For tickets and a complete performance schedule, visit the 7 Stages.
As for Justman, he feels extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity to lead The Collective in its mission to discover and foster new talent. “It is wonderful to call myself a member of this artistic community and a member of a theatre company that promotes artistic and personal growth.”