"May 4 Voices" Radio Play

Several broadcasts of the radio play “May 4th Voices” were aired during the 50th Commemoration. It features first-person narratives and reactions to events leading up to, during and after the tragic shooting. Author David Hassler, using the Kent State Shootings: Oral Histories project's over 1,200 pages of transcripts, assembled accounts from townspeople, students, protesters, faculty, National Guardsmen and others to provide diverse viewpoints from those most intimately affected at Kent State and the surrounding community. The play was originally staged on the Kent State campus on May 2, 2010, for the 40th Commemoration and was published by the Kent State University Press in 2012.

Twenty-two professional actors, including Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond, Ron West, Steve Byrne and more, all with a connection to Kent State either through their degrees, as faculty or other association, have come together under the direction of Joe Gunderman, national voice artist and WKSU’s senior producer, to bring these eyewitness accounts to life.

> Listen to “May 4th Voices” Online

The text of the original play, an expanded form of this broadcast, is available in print and ebook formats from the Kent State University Press. “May 4th Voices” is produced by WKSU, the Wick Poetry Center and Kent State.

> For more information, visit the “May 4 Voices” website

This play is drawn from the “Kent State Shootings: Oral Histories,” and was recorded for Public Broadcasting to mark the 50th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State University.