Kennesaw State presents outdoor theater

The Starlight Summer Concert Series premieres Kennesaw State University's first annual Summer…

Georgia (Jul 17, 2002) — Kennesaw State presents outdoor theater

Cheryl Anderson Brown

Abstract

The Starlight Summer Concert Series premieres Kennesaw State University's first annual Summer−Stock Theatre production with "Godspell‚" directed by guest artist Hylan Scott. Performances are at 8 p.m. on July 19‚ 20 and 21 at the Legacy Gazebo Amphitheater.



Full of music‚ dance‚ comedy and games‚ "Godspell" fuses Bible stories with theater to explore the meaning of community. The diverse cast of young actors brings a unique‚ multicultural perspective to the presentation of Christian parables.



Hindu cast member Viveka Chandrasekaran said the play has helped her learn a lot about Christianity and about community. "I have seen "Godspell" before‚ but I couldn't understand the stories‚" she said. "In this production‚ I think we will be able to communicate to any audience member‚ no matter what their background is."



According to director Scott‚ that message is one of forming and maintaining communities to care and learn from each other. "This is not a sacred telling of Biblical stories; it is often done as a group of clowns‚" he says. "However‚ we want to strike a balance to maintain the integrity of the story."



A veteran of five productions of "Godspell" elsewhere‚ Scott knows the power of this play to entertain those who want to be entertained and to inspire those who want to be inspired. It was an Alabama production that began to lead him back to Christianity seven years ago. Scott had long since left fundamentalism in search of a variety of faiths. Through "Godspell‚" however‚ he realized he could apply Christian principles to his life to make it better. In the last year‚ he has been baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church.



"Revisiting this play now is a gift‚" he says.



The seven ensemble players also see the play as a way of exploring their own faiths.



"These characters are extreme versions of ourselves‚" says Becky Shertenlieb. "They are searching for themselves and trying to figure things out‚ just like we are." She adds that the play is good for people of all faiths "because we are people of all faiths — it promotes the acceptance of all people."



The underlying seriousness of the play is conveyed through physical comedy‚ pop culture references and pop−rock musical numbers.



All three performances are free and open to the public. In case of inclement weather‚ the performances will be moved into the Howard Logan Stillwell Theater on campus.



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Editor's Note: Originally from Rockdale County‚ veteran actor‚ director and choreographer Hylan Scott is a graduate of Webster University in St. Louis. He has performed in several Broadway productions and in national and European tours. Now a freelance director and choreographer‚ he moved back to the Atlanta area a few years ago. Scott is in his second year teaching theater and dance at Woodward Academy.



Kennesaw State University‚ a progressive‚ comprehensive institution with a growing student population of 14‚100 from 118 countries‚ offers more than 50 degree programs. Out of 34 institutions‚ KSU is the sixth largest in the University System of Georgia.



 

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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