School of Theatre and Dance Students, Faculty, & Alumni Help Commemorate May 4 through 'May 4th Voices' Radio Play

In conjunction with Kent State University's 50th Anniversary Commemoration of May 4, the School of Theatre and Dance is proud to have multiple students, faculty, and alumni involved in the newly recorded version of David Hassler's play, "May 4th Voices." The play will be broadcast on several public radio stations across the United States beginning April 27 and is available for streaming now on the May 4 Voices website at www.may4voices.org.

Headlined by Kent State School of Theatre and Dance alumnus Jeff Richmond and wife Tina Fey, "May 4th Voices" draws from the May 4 Oral History Project to offer accounts of the day's events from all viewpoints. Sponsored by the School of Theatre and Dance and the Wick Poetry Center, the play originally debuted as a fully staged production on the Kent campus on May 2, 2010. A film version of the stage production, featuring a cast of Kent State undergraduates, was created in 2012 and later broadcast on Western Reserve PBS and made available as part of a resource for teachers. "May 4th Voices" is published by the Kent State University Press.

The newly recorded radio play is produced and directed by Joe Gunderman and features the voices of School of Theatre and Dance students Brian Chandler (MFA Acting for the Returning Professional), Fred Rose (MFA Acting for the Returning Professional), Ryan Scoble (MFA Acting for the Returning Professional), and Devin Pfeiffer (BFA Musical Theatre); faculty members Amy Fritsche, Rohn Thomas, and Chuck Richie (Emeritus); and alumni Steve Byrne, Paul Floriano, Dan Hendrock, Marc Moritz, Jeff Richmond, Fred Rose, Greg Violand, and Ron West. 

"It was moving to hear the story from so many perspectives," said associate professor Amy Fritsche. "Working at Kent, I thought I knew about the story but there were so many things that happened over those few days that I had no clue of. It is truly an honor that I got to take part in the retelling of it."

In addition to recording for her own role in the play, Fritsche also aided Gunderman in casting several School of Theatre and Dance students in roles, including undergraduate Devin Pfeiffer and graduate student Ryan Scoble. 

"Being a part of May 4th voices was a really wonderful experience," said BFA Musical Theatre student Devin Pfeiffer. "The fact that so many wonderful artists came together to tell such an important story is really a testament to the goodness of the Kent State community, a community that I am so thankful to be a part of." 

"I really appreciated being involved in this piece," said MFA Returning Professional graduate student Ryan Scoble. "In the School of Theatre & Dance, we chose to focus on programming shows this year that focused on the history and themes associated with May 4th. I started the year working as the assistant director of Hair, which gave me such a strong connection to May 4, and continued that connection by performing in Parade, which focused on the themes of social justice, racism, and community. Now, 'May 4th Voices' is my final Kent State performance and I appreciate spending my year being part of art that helped to commemorate the history of May 4th."

The participation of multiple members of the School of Theatre and Dance community in this project is the culmination in a year-long commitment from the School to present programming around the themes of May 4. 

The School of Theatre and Dance's faculty, alumni, and students are professional artists in addition to their connection to Kent State University and possess a wide variety of credits that include film and television, Broadway and Off-Broadway, regional theatre, higher education and more. 

For more information about the School of Theatre and Dance's faculty, visit https://www.kent.edu/theatredance/faculty-and-staff

For more information about School of Theatre and Dance alumni, visit https://www.kent.edu/theatredance/alumni

For full information about "May 4th Voices," visit https://may4voices.org

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Media Contact:

Joni Koneval, 330-672-0116, jkoneval@kent.edu

 

POSTED: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 4:43pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 4, 2020 - 6:58pm