Posting Date: June 25, 2012
LMDA conference brings exciting opportunities for KSU students
Annual conference will be held in Atlanta this year
By Shira Kerce
Theatre student Jeff Lester greets visitors during Barnette's spring dramaturgy class
Photo by LeeAnn Lands, KSU associate professor of history
Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) will hold its annual conference at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta from June 28-July 1, 2012. Partnered with Alliance Theatre and Kennesaw State University, the conference will explore how dramaturgs and other artists can serve their communities in truly public and innovative ways. LMDA received a $10,000 Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the event.
Jane Barnette, assistant professor of theatre and KSU’s resident dramaturg, has served as the southeast regional vice-president of LMDA since 2010 and is co-organizing the conference with Alliance Theatre’s Celise Kalke. The theme of this year’s conference is “Going Local (Imagining Atlanta),” and attendees will immerse themselves in the local ecology of Atlanta, visiting sites around the city to speak to the community’s artist-leaders. The conference will use Atlanta as a case study for how dramaturgs can work with and influence their local communities, challenging them when they leave the conference to adapt the lessons learned to their own communities.
Barnette has arranged for KSU College of the Arts students to participate in the four-day conference in several unique ways. A dozen KSU students will be volunteering with the conference and in exchange their registration costs are being waived. “This will allow students the exciting opportunity to attend sessions and network with professional and university theatre practitioners who are attending the conference,” Barnette explains.
KSU students will also participate in the conference during the “Intergenerational Dramaturgy” session on Thursday, June 28, at 1 p.m. in the Circle Room of the Woodruff Arts Center. This unique session provides attendees the opportunity to learn from two generations of dramaturgy students: KSU students from Barnette’s spring 2012 dramaturgy course and second-graders who participated in Alliance Theatre’s “Dramaturgy by Students” program last year. KSU students will also present the posters they created about Atlanta after being challenged to “dramaturg the city.”
On Saturday, June 30, at 9:30 p.m., KSU students will perform “The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party” on the Hertz Stage of the Alliance Theatre. KSU lecturer Margaret Baldwin and Associate Professor Karen Robinson are collaborating to present this short play by Jean Cocteau. Baldwin and Robinson, along with the cast of 10 KSU student actors, will be traveling to Casablanca, Morocco, in July to perform the play again at the International Festival of University Theatre. “Their performance during the LMDA conference will allow them to experience a live audience before competing in the festival next month,” Barnette explains.
Barnette is excited to be a part of this year’s LMDA conference and has enjoyed organizing the event. “Planning this conference has given me an excellent platform for integrating real-world performance tasks with local, community-based consequences for KSU students and faculty,” Barnette says.
For more information about the conference, visit the LMDA conference website.