Readers’ Theatre Project Presents Spoon River Anthology: For Voices — Spirits of the Dead Tell Stories of Life in a Small Town

By B.A. WOODRUFF Campus Press Staff

(ORIGINALLY PRINTED IN 2013 EDITION)

Throughout the 2012 and 2013 academic year the Visual, Performing, and Communication Arts/ Speech Program has released a series of shows through The Readers’ Theatre Project, an outreach performance series available to residents of Camden County.  Among the performances are The Grapes of Wrath, The Words of Workers, and Spoon River Anthology: For Voices, which premieres in April.   From Edgar Lee Master (18691950) and the artistic direction of The Readers’ Theatre project at the college, come Spoon River Anthology: For Voices, a re-adaptation of Master’s free verse eulogies. The play offers an amalgam of remorse, life lessons and hope.

Director and adapter, Curt Whipple, 57, graduated with a bachelor of fine art degree from Pennsylvania State University and proceeded with his studies with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. Throughout his acting career Whipple has appeared in numerous stage productions including Of Mice and Men and Savage in Limbo.   Spirits of Dead Narrate  Lives in Small Town  Spoon River takes place in a fictional small town in America of the same name, and retells the life stories of the deceased. The stories capture the heart and soul, or lack thereof, of the men and women who lived and died in Spoon River. The spirits of these souls come back from the dead to narrate their lives to whomever will listen, and even though this Lee adaption may sound frightening, it reveals so much more about the human experience we call life.  “This (re-interpretation) serves as an extension of what we do in our classrooms,” said Professor Whipple on the Spoon River Anthology,” it incorporates public speaking, voice and articulation and fundamentals of film in a very practical way.”  Whipple also states that the re-adaption of Spoon River Anthology has several important attributes other than entertainment; it includes  theatre education, film and acting opportunities for students, and collaboration between live film and stage theatre.   Spoon River Anthology: For Voice can be seen on April 12, 13, 19 and  20 at 8 p.m. and April 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. at the Dennis Flyer Memorial Theatre, Lincoln Hall, on the Blackwood Campus. Tickets are $10 for students and senior citizens.  (NOT AVAILABLE ANYMORE)

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