Posting Date: August 15, 2012

Theatre faculty performs original play reading

KSU’s own Jamie Bullins writes and directs

By Alyssa Sellors

Theatre faculty Margaret Baldwin (from left) Dean Adams, and Jane Barnette in last year's staged reading of "Detroit"

On Aug. 24, faculty members of the Kennesaw State University Department of Theatre & Performance Studies will perform a staged reading of “Shut Up & Drive,” written and directed by Associate Professor Jamie Bullins. The one-night-only performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the Howard Logan Stillwell Theater and is $10 cash only at the door. All proceeds will benefit student study abroad activities.

This is the third time the fall reading has showcased a faculty playwright, following Margaret Baldwin’s adaptation of “Tom Thumb the Great“ in 2007 and John Gentile's adaptations of “'Life is the Most Beautiful Fairy Tale': The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen" in 2005 and “The Wind in the Willows” in 2008.


Though “Shut Up & Drive” is about people driving in their cars while on the phone, the meaning runs deeper, exploring issues of change, family and frustrations with both. “The characters actually never have any physical contact, rather they have familial, social and professional ties to one another and interact only through their cell phones,” says Bullins.


“Shut Up & Drive” is the first play of his performed at KSU, but this is not Bullins first venture into the world of playwriting. Bullins has explored all aspects of the stage, from set and costume design to direction and was recently, along with Margaret Baldwin, invited to attend the 2011 Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive. Last spring, Bullins was asked by Dean Adams, associate professor and artistic director of the department, to try his hand at playwriting for the KSU stage.

The faculty reading is our way of bringing together the department—its students and its faculty as well as members and supporters from the university and the local community—and welcoming everyone back for a new year, says John Gentile, chair of the department. It has become an important tradition for our department in years since I first established the faculty reading with 'The Lion in Winter' in 2001—and one the students seem to appreciate.

Bullins hopes the play will offer audiences “simply, an opportunity to change the way they feel about something.” For students, this is the one time of the year where they can see professors from the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies on stage together.

Admission is a $10 cash donation at the door. This event may not be suitable for audiences under the age of 16. For more information, call 770-423-6650.



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