May 4th Voices performance brings testimonies to life

Kyle McDonald

A new performance based on Kent State’s Oral History Project will open at 7 p.m. Sunday in the E. Turner Stump Theater in the Music and Speech Center. Scripted by David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center, the “May 4th Voices Play” takes the spoken testimonies of witnesses from all types of vantage points.

“You get a sense of the shared trauma that was felt by everyone involved,” Hassler said.

A devising theater class of 13 students performs the play, and local musician and composer Hal Walker will provide music, said Katherine Burke, producer and director of the play.

“I think that one of the reasons this play is important, especially for students, is that seeing and hearing these words, spoken by people who are now the age that those people were in 1970, really bridges a gap,” Burke said.

The “May 4th Voices Play” is part of the May 4th Voices Community Arts Project, a three-piece program including the art installation at the Downtown Gallery earlier this week and a community story quilt.

The performance is free and open to the public.

“We expect it to be well attended,” Burke said, warning that it’s probable to fill up quickly.

— Kyle McDonald