A Reader’s Theatre production of the play, May 4 Voices: Kent State, 1970
Occurring Saturday evening, October 26, 2019, as part of the Kent State conference: “Commemorating Violent Conflicts and Building Sustainable Peace”
The play is free and open to the public.
LOCATION: Ballroom of the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center
“May 4th Voices” is a play about the May 4, 1970 shootings of Kent State students by the Ohio National Guard during a student protest against the US wars in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Written by David Hassler, the director of Kent State’s Wick Poetry Center, and directed by Joe Gunderman of WKSU-FM radio, the play is based on the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project, which includes more than 115 interviews that contain first-person narratives and personal reactions to the events of May 4, 1970. The interviews contain the viewpoints of members of the Kent community, Kent State faculty, students, alumni, staff, and administrators who were on campus that day, as well as National Guardsmen, police, hospital personnel, and others whose lives were affected by their experiences of May 4 and its aftermath.
Weaving these voices and stories together anonymously, Hassler’s riveting play tells the human story of May 4th and its ongoing legacies, capturing the sense of trauma, confusion, and fear felt by all people regardless of where they stood that day, and afterwards.