The Red Badge of Courage at KSU
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Photos by Meg Harkins
KENNESAW, Ga. (February 03, 2014) —
Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage will soon receive a world premiere at Kennesaw State University’s Onyx Theater. The Department of Theatre and Performance Studies will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War with this courageous adaptation, jointly written and directed by Theatre and Performance Studies faculty member Dr. Jane Barnette and guest artist Michael Haverty.
This adaptation will transport its audience into a explosive sensory experience with the use of large screen projections, puppets, live actors, and environmental original music. The use of absurd surrealism and Artaudian ‘Theatre of Cruelty will encase the audience within the battlefields of Chancellorsville. Dr. Barnette expresses her hopes: “that the theatricalism of the production will ignite spectators' imaginations and transport them into the world as The Youth sees it. Because this production (and the novel on which it is based) sees the world through the protagonist's eyes, it has elements of expressionism as well, especially in the more nightmarish moments of his journey.”
Dr. Barnette is the Resident Dramaturg for the Theatre and Performance Studies Department. For this production she takes on the creative roles of writer and director; an artistic talent that we are seeing for the first time on a KSU stage. She has teamed up with veteran Atlanta director Michael Haverty, who is no stranger here at KSU, having directed The Veiling Mists and The Ubu Project in past seasons. The two worked together as Director and Adaptor on these productions discovering their common love for surrealism and Antonin Artaud. Both being creative thinkers, it seemed only natural that they collaborate on a project together.
Having loved this book since middle school, Haverty was “attracted to the flow of the story, the atmosphere of fear and trauma, the captivating characters caught in their own minds, and the looming presence of nature, unbound to the worries of mankind.” Barnette was attracted to the story’s descriptive and poetic prose. They are both very excited about the writing/directing partnership and the talents that each is bringing to Red Badge of Courage.
This adaptation of The Red Badge of Courage is Kennesaw State University’s first co-production with an Atlanta professional theatre. After its run here at KSU, the show will transfer to 7 Stages Theatre, an established and respected theatre on Euclid Avenue in Little Five Points.
The cast of mostly student actors and student designers for the production will get a chance to work along side some of Atlanta’s finest theatre professionals. In fact, joining the four student actors (Josh Brook, Laura Driskill, Devon Hale, and Megan Jance) will be veteran Atlanta actor Bryan Mercer. The student actors will work alongside this professional actor with experience in several styles of acting, puppetry, and adaptations. Designers (Andrew Hobson: Costumes, Alyssa Brosy: Set, and Ben Rawson: Lighting,) will learn to adapt their designs traveling into a new theatre, collaborating with professionals to make sure that their designs work well in both settings. To follow the cast and crew through the rehearsal process and to learn more about the dramaturgical research for this production, visit www.redbadgeofcourage.net.
—Robert Hadaway, Dramaturg and Graduate Student in American Studies at KSU
Red Badge of Courage will play February 4th through the 9th 2014 in the Onyx Theater at Kennesaw State. Tickets are available online at www.ticketing.kennesaw.edu.
Can’t make the Kennesaw State shows? See it February 27th through March 23rd at 7 Stages Theatre in Atlant; please visit www.7stages.org for show times and tickets.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,100 students from more than 130 countries.