January 18, 2009 | Leave a Comment
Buies Creek, N.C.-Campbell University drama professor, Keith Hight, has been tapped to direct the next Harnett Regional Theatre production, "The Glass Menagerie," by Tennessee Williams. The play, which opens Feb. 20, is a dramatic departure from recent productions such as "I Hate Hamlet," a comedy about an actor haunted by the ghost of John Barrymore, also directed by Hight.
"There is a great mixture of classic and funny this season at HRT," said Hight. "This show is regular reading for a lot of high school students. It's one way of incorporating theatre into the classroom and I am a big believer in that."
Hight has been an adjunct professor and technical director for Campbell's Theatre Arts Department since 2006. During that time, he has worked to integrate the arts and education through several projects. In 2007, hundreds of Harnett County elementary and middle school students were treated to the play, "It's Sad, so Sad when an Elf Goes Bad," performed by Campbell theatre students. A workshop following the play allowed the students to create Christmas crafts on stage.
"This type of activity gives theatre in the community a wonderful boost," Hight said. "It shows students there is a need for educational theatre."
"The Glass Menagerie" has been part of America's literary curriculum for over 50 years. Williams' play about illusion and reality, abandonment and responsibility has touched generations of audiences.
"It's a play about memory," Hight said. "It's intimate theatre that looks at relationships and perceptions. Williams is this incredible playwright who uses wonderful words to paint portraits of emotion. We're going to be as true to the script and staging as humanly possible."
The original staging of "The Glass Menagerie" uses slide projections to evoke the quality of memory, Hight added. The slides are used to display symbols and images related to the play's action. Although many directors declined to use the staging technique, some critics call it the epitome of Williams' style, which downplays realistic portrayals in favor of stylized representations of experience.
The ensemble cast of "The Glass Menagerie" includes: Campbell football player and theatre major Josh Owens as Tom; HRT veteran Vicki Wade as Amanda; HRT veteran Beth Weeks as Laura; and Campbell theatre major Jonathan Fitts as Jim.
For ticket information, click on the Harnett Regional Theatre website at http://www.onlinehrt.org.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Keith Hight received a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Pedagogies from Virginia Commonwealth University and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and the Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.
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