Bold. Tenacious. Indestructible. Monkey is a rebel with an infectious laugh and enough tricks up his sleeve to wreak havoc from the Gardens of Heaven to the Gates of Hell. Join us for a contemporary American spin on this ancient Chinese tale.
This production will travel to China in December 2005 to be presented at the Shanghai Arts Festival. Produced with generous support from the Coca-Cola Foundation. Follow the production’s progress online at the above address.
Margaret Baldwin (Playwright) is a playwright, director and performer. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she has produced her plays, solo, and ensemble performance works throughout United States. Her play, Her Little House, received a National 2004 AT&T Onstage Award for its world premiere at Horizon Theatre Company directed by Karen Robinson. Other recent works include Roland's Song, which she wrote and directed at KSU in the spring of 2005; Alice Through the Wonderglass (2003), a play for young audiences commissioned by Synchronicity Performance Group; and The Wet Nurse Sings, a solo work Margaret wrote and performed as part of Synchronicity's Anton Acts Out (2002). Margaret has an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, is a member of the Dramatist's Guild, and is a Core Member of the Playwrights' Center. She teaches theatre and performance at Kennesaw State University.
Aaron Blowers (Monkey King) A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Aaron is a fourth year student at Kennesaw State University. He is currently pursuing a directing track B.A. in Theatre & Performance Studies. Aaron served as Senator for K.S.U's College of the Arts and President of Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre Honor Society). Performance training consists of method acting, classical voice, tap-dance, viewpoints, jumping jacks, and vigorously tumbling around in the back yard. Past credits: The Fantasticks (Matt), The Raven (Prince Jennaro), Lonestar (Cletus Fullernoy), Pippin (Pippin), and Greater Tuna (Thurston Wheelis). A huge thanks to all who made this journey possible!
Briana Brock (Ensemble) is a Theatre & Performance Studies major and fourth year student at Kennesaw State University. She is very proud and honored to be involved in The Monkey King. Her past productions at KSU include Stop/Kiss, The Revenger's Tragedy, and Roland's Song. She thanks her family and friends for their love and support, and hopes everyone enjoys the show!
Ming Chen (Project Director, Set and Costume designer), earned two Masters degrees in Stage Design/Theory and in Production from Shanghai Theatre Academy and from the University of Pittsburgh. She has designed sets and costumes for over 60 theatrical productions in both academic and professional arenas. Currently a full professor at Kennesaw State University, she has published numerous articles and made three book contributions. She especially enjoys working with this production team, and is thrilled to bring and dedicate this piece to her alma mater in China for its 60th Anniversary. Aside from The Monkey King, her recent projects also include Chen Zhen's art exhibition at KSU, which received grants from the US National Endowment for the Arts, Georgia Humanities Council and Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
Sara Gosier This is Sara's second year as a KSU Theatre & Performance Studies STUDIES major. Other KSU roles include Theresa in Boy Gets Girl and Sara in Stop/Kiss. She has also performed in such shows as The Learned Ladies, Laramie Project, and Dancing at Lughnasa at Berry College. At Horizon Theater, Sara played Augusta in their production of Easy. She would like to give a million thanks to everyone involved in giving her this incredibly magnificent opportunity and is delighted to be working on this production.
Dustin B. Jenkins (Ensemble) is a senior Theatre and Performance Studies major. This is his fourth show at Kennesaw State University. He's proud to be graduating...finally.
Katie Marks (Stage Manager) is a senior Theatre and Performance Studies major on the Design/Tech track at KSU. She is thrilled to be working once again on the mainstage; her previous stage managing credits include Old Maid and the Thief/Gianni Schicchi, Night in the Ukraine, Pippin, and The Public. Recent awards and recognitions include the Bentley Scholarship, the HausKraft Scholarship, and the Outstanding Senior award for the Theatre & Performance Studies Department. Thanks to family and friends for their support. For Norm.
Brad Mills (Ensemble) is a sophomore transfer student from Marymount Manhattan University. He has been acting since his Junior year of High School. In 2004, he won best high school actor in the state of North Carolina at NCTC for his role Jerry in the Zoo Story. Overall, he has been in over twenty productions, ranging from high school theatre, children's theatre, educational theatre, and professional theatre. He is very happy to be a part of this production, and wishes to thank his family and friends for their constant love and support.
Elizabeth Neidel (Ensemble) is a senior at KSU, majoring in Theatre & Performance Studies, with a minor in Dance. She most recently appeared as Harriet in Boy Gets Girl, for which she was nominated for the Irene Ryan Scholarship and competed in the American College Theatre Festival in West Palm Beach, Florida. Next semester she will be traveling to Florida State with the KSU Dance Company and performing at the American College Dance Festival. Last year, she interned at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA where she worked in the Education Department. Other shows include A Night in the Ukraine, Pippin, The Hero's Journey, The Public and The Raven.
Lacey Rhodes (Ensemble), a senior student at Kennesaw State University, is pursuing a performance track, B.A., in the Theatre & Performance Studies Department. Lacey has training in classical voice, dance, basic tumbling, and theatrical technique. Lacey resides on the board of the Theatre Honors Society, chapter Alpha Gamma Omicron of Alpha Psi Omega. Past performances include The Birthday Party (Meg), Hero's Journey (Inanna), Gianni Schicchi (Gucio), and A Night in the Ukraine (Nina). Soon to be seen at Dad's Garage in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (dancer). Thanks to all who gave support for this opportunity.
Karen Robinson (Director) is an Associate Professor in the KSU Department of Theatre & Performance Studies where she teaches courses in directing, performance, dramatic literature and theatre appreciation, in addition to directing for KSU's production season. She has worked as director, dramaturg, performer and/or stage manager for theatres in New York City, North Carolina, California and Atlanta. Her directorial credits include new script development with Atlanta's Horizon Theatre Company and the Association of Theatre in Higher Education. An Associate Artist at the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Karen has directed twelve productions for the company, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Amadeus, Tartuffe, Saint Joan, and Much Ado About Nothing. She has collaborated with playwright Margaret Baldwin on three projects prior to Monkey King. Karen earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, during which time she worked as an Assistant Director Off and Off Off Broadway.
Lauren Tatum (Ensemble) is a junior theater major and has been acting and dancing for nineteen years. As a member of the Holly Rocks Dance Studio, she performed across America. She has received scholarships to The Broadway Dance Center in New York and the Edge Dance Studio in Los Angeles. She has performed on ESPN and at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Ga. Lauren has been teaching dance for seven years (Ballet, Jazz, and Tap). She is honored to be performing this wonderful piece.
Ben C. Tilley (Lighting Designer) is in his last semester at Kennesaw State University. He has worked as resident Master Electrician at the school and Synchronicity Performance Group (Atlanta) for three years. He works as a carpenter in Kennesaw State's scene shop. Recent design credits include; Boy Gets Girl, Roland's Song, The Bald Soprano, Green Eggs and Ham at KSU, Hamlet at Vision Quest, The Big Bang at The Horizon Theatre, and Synchronicity's Valentines Gala at The Alliance Theatre. Ben also designs for several dance companies around town. After graduation, Ben plans to work as a free lance lighting designer as well as continuing his work as the co-technical director at the Grand Theatre in Cartersville.