Students present project at theatre conference
By Lauren Highfill
Student members of the Chekhov project in New York.
(From left) James Maloof, Matthew Judd, Renee Pattillo,
Stephanie Wiernik and Jim Wallace (not pictured).
A yearlong research project is coming to a close for five theatre and performance studies students and Assistant Professor Harrison Long. The project involves intense study of playwright Anton Chekhov and the techniques he and his predecessors developed. The final phase of the project is the group’s presentation of their findings at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Chattanooga, Tenn. in March.
“The SETC is the largest conference of its kind and hosts theatre professionals and academics,” said Long. “We were invited to present our findings and are excited to have this opportunity to show our work at such a prestigious conference. It’s rare for a student research team to be honored in this way, especially a research team comprised primarily of undergraduates.”
Each member of the group has brought different skills to the project. Sophomore James Maloof focuses on scene design and, in addition to participating in the Chekhov panel, will be entering his work on the KSU production of “The Robber Bridegroom” in the SETC design competition. “Going to this conference is a good chance to talk about the work we’ve done with Chekhov,” said Maloof.
Junior Renee Pattillo has also been participating in the project and will be attending the SETC. She acted in the KSU production of Chekhov’s “The Marriage Proposal.” “It was great to be not just learning about Chekhov but to have the chance to be one of the characters he created.” As far as the SETC is concerned, “I’m looking forward to being at this big event with so many people who are passionate and knowledgeable about theatre,” said Pattillo.
The final stage of “Anton Chekhov: Theory and Praxis Research Project” may be approaching, but this isn’t the end for the research team. “The findings of this project are extensive and it’s possible that the research may be published in the near future,” said Long. For the students, many of them have received experiences, knowledge and skills that will serve them well into the future. Pattillo describes her participation as “one of the biggest learning experiences of my life.”
The Chekhov project is funded by a Creative Activities and Research Experiences for Teams grant sponsored by the KSU Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.