Posting Date: November 9, 2011


The Chautauqua Colloquium and the KSU Tellers perform on Nov. 29

Two performances, one interactive evening

By Stephen Chamblee

KSU Tellers performing at the 2011 Annual Campaign Kick-Off Picnic


Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant

On Nov. 29, the KSU Department of Theatre, Performance Studies and Dance will present an evening of interactive performances with the Chautauqua Colloquium at 6:30 p.m. in the Wilson Building, room 103 followed by the KSU Tellers Showcase at 8 p.m. in the studio theater (Wilson Building, room 138).

The Chautauqua Colloquium, now in its fifth year at KSU, was inspired by the Chautauqua assemblies, which took place across rural America during the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. According to assistant theater professor Jane Barnette, at these events prominent writers, musicians, politicians and other luminaries would come to speak and perform their works in large outdoor tents for audiences who otherwise had limited access to cultural events.

KSU's Chautauqua Colloquium seeks to combine the spirit of these assemblies with a scholarly approach. Students will be speaking on topics of debate among theater historians, as well as fielding discussion questions from the audience. Barnette believes the results have been outstanding for both the students and audiences. "Every year, it turns out to be a really fun event, because the students really make it their own. My goal is for students not to feel like passive listeners, but rather see how we are active makers of history."

Immediately following the colloquium, the KSU Tellers will be performing a showcase of stories. Tellers director and assistant professor, Charles Parrott says, "The Tellers Showcase is the culmination of all our work as kind of a greatest hits of the semester."

The eight-member troupe will be performing original pieces adapted from fairy tales, traditional folk tales, literature and historical figures. Teller member Molly Gilmartin says, "Since we worked on such a wide array of stories this semester, the showcase will definitely highlight the versatility the Tellers have both individually and as a unit." The showcase will also include a slide show of candid photos from the semester followed by an after-performance reception.

Parrott believes that solo performances like these are critical to the students' artistic development, and help to prepare them for professional challenges later: "The whole Tellers program is geared towards creating independent artists who can stand on their own two feet and create their own work. Audiences can expect performances that are intellectually stimulating, interesting to watch, and aesthetically pleasing."

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