Posting Date: January 18, 2011

Kennesaw State to present unique spoken word event

Event will allow audience to influence and affect performance

For media inquiries: Cheryl Anderson Brown, Director of Public Relations,
770-499-3417 or


KENNESAW, Ga.—The Kennesaw State University Department of Theatre, Performance Studies & Dance will present its annual "The Spoken Word" performance on Jan. 28-29 at 8 p.m. in the Performance Hall of the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center. This year's performance, "Cutting Across The Map," will feature KSU alumnus Ariel Gratch (theatre & performance studies, 2003) and Benjamin Haas. The interactive performance will allow audience members to influence and control certain aspects of the performance through various levels of participation.

John Gentile, chair of the Department of Theatre, Performance Studies & Dance and coordinator of the event, explains that the audience will have the capacity to significantly shape the direction of the performance. Stories for the event will range from ancient Hindu myths to stories about the first nuclear bomb.

Both performers are currently doctoral candidates in performance studies at Louisiana State University. Gratch, who was named outstanding senior while at KSU, anticipates the opportunity to return to campus. "It's really great to be able to bring back everything I've learned in the last 10 years to the place where my academic and artistic foundation was laid," he explains.

Assistant Professor Charles Parrott, also a coordinator for the event, observes, "These two performers are on their way up in developing their work. This is a chance to catch them on their way up." The improvisational nature of the event, according to Parrott, will produce a unique performance. "This will be a performance that is a one-time thing. It's always going to be dependent on the mood and disposition of the performers and the interaction and sensibility of the audience. It will never be created again in the same way."

During their visit, the performers will also be participating in workshops for KSU theatre students. For the workshops, Gratch and Haas will be aided by the KSU Tellers, a student storytelling troupe that is co-sponsoring the event.

This event may not be suitable for all audiences. Tickets for the performance are $18 and are available for purchase at the KSU box office. Student tickets are available for $12. For more information, call 770-423-6650.

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education, business and nursing. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 22,500 from 142 countries.

The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts departments.


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The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University supports, defends and promotes academic freedom in artistic expression, as outlined by the American Association of University Professors, and diversity of all kinds as outlined by the university's Human Relations Position Statement.

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