Posting Date: February 22, 2010
Kennesaw State student wins theater design award
Advances to national competition at the Kennedy Center
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James Maloof with his award-winning design presentation
Photo by Jamie Bullins
This production photo from "A View of the Woods" shows Maloof's design, including the sloped floor.
Photo by widescreenvideoproductions.com
KENNESAW, Ga.—Kennesaw resident James Maloof, a Kennesaw State University senior, recently won the American College Theatre Festival regional award for best stage design. This entitles him to compete for the national Barbizon Award at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April.
Maloof is competing with his design from the 2009 KSU production of "Everything That Rises Must Converge," a staging of two short stories by Flannery O'Connor, including the title story and "A View of the Woods."
Maloof was challenged to create a design that would be flexible enough to work for both stories. He also took O'Connor's rich text into consideration.
"Because the production used every word of the author's original text, I wanted to create one solid gesture that would allow the dialogue to breathe and develop without complicating the very dense world that O'Connor created."
Maloof also wished to convey a sense of the characters' world views to the audience.
"In each of the stories, there are characters who are unable to really see the world as it is. So, I wanted to challenge the audience. As they entered the space, I wanted them to be unable to fully understand or define what they were encountering."
To achieve this "purposefully ambiguous" response, Maloof employed a steeply angled floor and placed it in a relatively stark setting that could be transformed as needed for the scene.
Maloof is the second KSU student designer to compete for the top national honor. Erik Teague, who is now in graduate school, won the national award in 2006 and again in 2007.
“To have two students reach this level of recognition in such a short period shows what talented and dedicated students we have in our design concentration," says Jamie Bullins, KSU associate professor of theatre and performance studies. "James Maloof works hard; he really deserves this award."
Maloof's most recent KSU design credit is for last month's sold-out production of "Bat Boy the Musical." In addition to many other credits at Kennesaw State, Maloof has also worked on numerous professional productions, including plays at the Alliance Theatre, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Dad’s Garage and Actor’s Express.
An interview with Maloof regarding his design work on "Everything That Rises Must Converge" is available on the dramaturgical web site for that production at http://www.kennesaw.edu/theatre/EverythingThatRises/maloof.html
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A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 21,000 from 142 countries. The third-largest university in Georgia, Kennesaw State offers more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education and business.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts programs.