Gaiety School Summer Study Abroad: Now accepting applications for Summer 2015!


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Patrick Sutton, Director of The Gaiety School of Acting, Visits KSU October 22-23


Patrick Sutton, the Director of The Gaiety School of Acting, will visit
Theatre and Performance Studies classes October 22-23 to give workshops and promote the summer study abroad program at The Gaiety in Dublin, Ireland. Click here for more information.

Checking out the cows

Explore the Summer Study Abroad at The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland!

Into the Woods Oct. 22-26, Oct. 29-Nov. 2, Stillwell Theater


Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it in Sondheim’s witty and unconventional spin on fairy tales. Book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; directed by Justin Anderwon with music direction by Judy Cole. Buy tickets. Co-produced with KSU School of Music.

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In a 2013 radio interview, Krista Tippett, creator and host of the Peabody Award-winning program On Being, spoke with Maria Tatar about the continuing relevance and contemporary allure of fairy tales. In the interview, Tatar, who chairs the program in folklore and mythology at Harvard University, describes the imaginative promise held by the “great once upon a time,’’ a fantastical realm where “operatic beauty” meets “monstrous terror.” It is not merely a site of escape from the everyday; rather, it is a place where those who absorb the tales may come face-to-face with the things that terrify them.

Tatar claims that one explanation for the lasting popularity of fairy tales, from their origins around ancient firesides to contemporary interpretations in television shows like Once Upon a Time and Grimm, lies in the fact that they allow us to tap into the “transformative power in terror” from a safe remove. Transformative terror is a constant theme throughout Sondheim and Lapine’s Into the Woods.

The eponymous woods themselves, an ominous, mystical presence essential to so many beloved fairy tales, are a site of both fear and change, a liminal space where characters face the unknown in their surroundings, in each other, and, perhaps most frighteningly of all, in themselves. Not only do the woods offer adventure, excitement, and the ever-alluring promise of danger; they also exist as a space

that defies and defines their inhabitants’ conceptions of self. All who enter are inevitably transformed. As the Baker’s Wife puts it in the second act, “What is it about the woods?”

Tatar draws an important distinction between fairy tales and sacred stories in her interview, explaining that there are no true originals in the realm of fairy tale. Rather, the stories change with every retelling and every adaptation, their methods and meanings regularly modified to fit the individual and collective needs of those who embrace them. Kennesaw State University’s production of Into the Woods likewise bears the imprint of its historical moment. Stirred by the contemporary turmoil between Russia and Ukraine, director Justin Anderson chose to set his interpretation of the musical against the backdrop of the Bolshevik Revolution, a movement which ignited changes that are still palpable in Russia and the surrounding nations nearly a century later.

In February of 1917, the widely despised Tsar Nicholas II, Russia’s final emperor, was removed from power amidst violent riots on the streets of Petrograd. Seven months later, the Bolsheviks, self-professed leaders of the revolutionary working class, seized the Winter Palace in a coup that came to be known as Red October, effectively laying the groundwork for the establishment of the Soviet Union and inciting radical, far-reaching change on a national scale. With this context in mind, Anderson imagines the narrator of Into the Woods as a soldier who, as he prepares to storm the palace, takes momentary solace in an old storybook whose tales reinforce his ideas about heroism and reinvigorate

his revolutionary charge. Though a span of only a few months passes between the musical’s two acts, the second act simultaneously takes us much further forward, to a region plagued by a giant who represents the struggle and discord that has been visited upon the land for almost a century. Together, a small band of survivors must face both the consequences of their own actions and the uncontrollable forces at work in the woods.

Into the Woods is a story about wishing and wanting, about the terrors we willingly face in order to achieve those things that we imagine will complete our lives. Whether we dream of attending a ball, meeting a prince, or escaping a tower, however, the process of pursuit inevitably alters the pursuer, and those who enter the woods are never quite the same when they emerge.

—Miriam Hahn, Resident Dramaturg

Community Art Sale Thurs-Sat., Nov 6-8, KSU Center


Kennesaw State University’s School of Art and Design is pleased to announce the first annual Community Art Sale Nov. 6-8 to help fund student scholarships. In conjunction with KSU’s Visions Student Art Society and the KSU Foundation, the sale will include gift items such as pottery, jewelry, hand-pulled prints, small sculptures, and small drawings and paintings.

Director of the School of Art and Design Geo Sipp said, “We are excited to provide an opportunity for a collaboration art sale and exhibition with professional and local area artists. We are particularly pleased that 40% of the retail price will go to the School of Art and Design’s scholarship fund designated for flexible art scholarships for incoming and current students.”

Local area artists and fine artisans, including students, faculty and staff of Kennesaw State University, will offer drawings, prints, watercolors, photographs, ceramics, jewelry, small sculpture, fiber arts, and contemporary craft items. The event will be held in the lobby atrium by the foundation at KSU Center located at 3333 Busbee Drive in Kennesaw. Hours are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6; 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8.

Artist Shane McDonald is coordinating artist participation and the exhibit. Artists wishing to participate must complete and submit the online application form and any supplemental documents by Oct. 24.  For a sneak peek of some of the pieces offered for sale, please click here.

KSU Opera Theater Presents "The Hotel Casablanca" Nov. 14-15


Dont’ miss the KSU Opera Theater production of “The Hotel Casablanca” Nov. 14-15 at 8 p.m. in Morgan Hall at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center. Tickets are $11-15; click here to purchase.

Pyromania: Nov. 12-15, Stillwell Theater, 8 p.m.


An evening of classical and contemporary dance featuring the KSU Dance Company. Choreographic repertory presented and staged by Ivan Pulinkala, Daniel Gwirtzman, Mara Mandradjieff, Christine Walker, and Ido Tadmore. Tickets range from $14-$20; November 12-15, 2014, 8 p.m. at Stillwell Theater, Kennesaw State University. Click here to buy tickets.


High demand leads to two Collage Concert performances Feb. 7, 2015


The School of Music at Kennesaw State will hold two Collage performances on February 7, 2015, at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Morgan Concert Hall at the Bailey Performance Center. An evening of exciting and fast-paced vignette performances by over 200 School of Music performers, the 9th annual Collage scholarship concert is the signature production of the School of Music and is a primary fundraising event for supporting scholarships for School of Music students.

Each year, the show features a rapid-fire program delivered as flowing vignette performances by School of Music soloists, chamber groups, and ensembles totaling over 200 student and faculty performers. Due to sold-out crowds and increasingly high demand for each performance over the past several years, this year’s Collage event will feature two shows: 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.  

In addition to these performances, a public reception and raffle will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  Patrons may purchase VIP tickets which include a special reception following the 8 p.m. performance, a silent auction, and premium seating for the event. 

Special repertoire, seamless transitions between diverse works, and unique lighting and stage design combine to create a truly memorable experience unique in our region.  This cutting edge concert experience highlights the incredible passion and talent of the faculty and students of the KSU School of Music and challenges preconceived notions of what a concert can be.  Collage showcases the School of Music’s mission to educate musicians who innovate, create, and lead their art into the future.

SPECIAL OFFER: Receive $9 off your tickets by clicking the coupon, or  using the code below between now and Oct. 31. (Not valid on VIP ticket/reception package.)


Or, click here for tickets.

Dance Festival at Kennesaw State University April 17-19, 2015

Festival celebrates concert dance for high schools and dance studios


Kennesaw State University’s Department of Dance will host the 2015 KSU Dance Festival April 17-19, 2015. The Festival features over 30 classes, two nights of adjudicated performances, and teacher seminars. To learn more, click here. 

Art Studies, Dance Solos at Zuckerman Museum of Art Oct. 15


Students enrolled in DANC 4500 Choreography visited the Zuckerman Museum of Art in late August. Each choreographer selected a work of art that spoke to them the loudest, from either the permanent or temporary exhibits. Back in the studio, the students created solo studies in response to their chosen works. Thanks to the generosity of the Zuckerman, we have a chance to complete the process, full circle.

On Wednesday, October 15 from 2:15 to 3 p.m.,  the students will perform their solos and share their inspirations in an open critique led by Professor Daniel Gwirtzman. JOIN US!

Coming Out Monologues Oct. 9-10, 8 p.m., Onyx Theater


Humorous, poignant, and celebratory, this evening features performances of coming-out stories from across the campus community. Co-directed by Jessica Duvall and Karen Robinson. Co-produced with GLBTIQ Student Retention services. Tickets $5.

Atlanta Steinway Society Awards Scholarship to KSU pianist


Kennesaw State University School of Music piano student Jordan Sommer was recently awarded a Steinway Scholarship from the Atlanta Steinway Society. At the ceremony, Jordan performed three solo piano works of Chopin, Sibelius and Grieg. Jordan studies under the direction of School of Music professor and pianist Robert Henry.

Photo, above, left to right: School of Music professor and pianist Soohyun Yun, student Jordan Sommer, and Atlanta Steinway Society president Ms. April Conaway.  

Roktober Laff-Fest | October 3-4


Wilson Building Annex | Onyx Theater | 8 p.m. | Free

Violet Juno at the Stillwell Theater Sept. 25-27, 8 p.m.


Join us for (I am still here) Language has Left the Building at the Stillwell Theatre Sept. 25-27 at 8 p.m. Guest artist Violet Juno combines storytelling and performance to count the languages learned and lost in her family over the generations. Tickets are $5 to $20.

Musicians of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Offer Free Concerts

Two performances on Sept. 26th at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to celebrate music


Kennesaw, Ga. (Sept. 23, 2014)–– 

Musicians from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will perform two free concerts on Friday, September 26th, at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center at Kennesaw State University. The musicians will also hold an open rehearsal with School of Music students on Friday afternoon.

The concerts are free and open to the public; seating is first come, first serve and no tickets are required. However, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association will be accepting donations onsite.

On Monday, Sept. 22, the School of Music received notice from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra management that the ASO concert scheduled for Sept. 26th had been cancelled due to labor negotiations. Ticket holders were contacted by Kennesaw State on Monday regarding exchanges and/or refunds.

Michael Alexander, Interim Director of the School of Music, said, “We are proud of the partnership we have formed with the ASO, and we are disappointed that the concert that we originally planned has been cancelled due to the ongoing negotiations. We continue to hope for a positive resolution. As a School of Music, our job is to support great music and provide an educational opportunity for our students. These free concerts will help us provide a positive outlet for all involved during this difficult time.”

The concerts will be held at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center, located at 488 Prillaman Way, Kennesaw, GA 30144. Download a detailed campus map.

Please use the following guidelines for parking:

Primary parking for this performance at the Bailey Performance Center is in the Central Parking Deck. Parking in this deck is not-restricted (with the exception of disabled parking) and is free after 6 p.m. Parking in any of the surface lots on the arts district campus will be extremely limited. There are limited disabled parking spaces in Lot E and in Lot J. A drop-off lane is available in Lot E and is directly in front of the Bailey Performance Center lobby doors.

For more information, please contact the Box Office at 470-578-6650 or email

For media inquiries, please contact Kathie Beckett via email:

Private Eyes: Oynx Theatre, September 16-21, 2014 | 8 p.m. | $5-$12 Sunday | 2 p.m.


PRIVATE EYES | Onyx Theater
September 16-21, 2014 | 8 p.m. | $5-$12
Sunday | 2 p.m.
By Steven Dietz. | Directed by Ariel Fristoe
Buy Tickets

Nothing is ever quite what it seems in this dark comedy of suspicion, theatrical illusion, and romantic truth. Steven Dietz’s darkly comic play Private Eyes offers a startling and incisive glimpse into a world in which appearances deceive at every turn. The private becomes public, the real fades into the imagined, and glimmers of truth may be glimpsed only fleetingly against a dark tide of lies.

The characters in Private Eyes long for truth, love, and genuine human connection, but, terrified of rendering themselves vulnerable through open self-revelation, they instead pursue avenues of deceit, disguise, and self-delusion. Falsehoods pile up at a fevered pace until the final moments of the play, when the characters lay down their lies and face each other in a moment of bare honesty, a blissful release that allows them to see and to be seen without guile or guise.

As his characters gasp for breath against the seductive current of their own lies, Dietz challenges our own expectations for narrative truth as well. The story exists on several different planes of reality simultaneously. It invites audiences to join in with the characters who watch from the wings as the most private moments of their lives unfold onstage, but the play offers no promises that the worlds observed are really what they seem—until we, like Matthew and Lisa, are granted respite in a final instant of stillness and truth.
                    —Miriam Hahn, Resident Dramaturg

Meet dancer Angel Bramlett


By Keaton Lamle

As is often the case with artists, Angel Bramlett was introduced to her craft through older siblings. When her three older sisters enrolled in ballet, Angel wasn’t far behind. “Being the youngest, sometimes you can’t really say what you want to say,” the senior dance major elaborates. However, if her initial entrance into dance wasn’t entirely intentional, the art form soon captured Bramlett’s affections. Continuing to dance throughout high school, she eventually auditioned for North Springs Charter’s (Atlanta, GA) modern-based dance company, and was accepted, leading Bramlett to hone her contemporary dance skills and mentor younger students throughout high school.

Prior to her senior year in high school, the young dancer visited Kennesaw State University to attend the summer dance intensive, had the opportunity to meet some of her future professors, and received a $500 scholarship for attending the clinic. Upon receiving the HOPE scholarship, Bramlett solidified her choice to attend KSU.

“Studying at Kennesaw has been an amazing experience,” Bramlett says. “Coming from a contemporary program, it feels like home here. All the professors are really inclined to pinpoint your personal abilities and weaknesses to help you grow as an artist. I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with pretty much of all the faculty closely; it’s been an exciting process.” The faculty confirms that the partnership has been a success; Professor Marcus Alford says, “Angel is truly one of the most dedicated students I’ve ever taught. Her attention to detail is amazing. I’ve watched Angel grow here at KSU.”

One of the most exciting successes occurred when Bramlett became one of two students chosen to dance abroad in Morocco, an event which the jazz dancer points to as a confidence booster. While Bramlett admits that there are so many amazing dancers in the world that comparison can be demoralizing, she points to the dance department and opportunities like Morocco as a source of encouragement. “Dance is an extremely hard art form. You have to be dedicated. You have to key into who you are as a performer and use that. Our field is competitive. Training at KSU with so many faculty members, you have to learn to adapt to different styles. That’s been the greatest thing, to learn how to adapt. I continue to be cast each fall and spring and am realizing that I can’t compare myself to other dancers. I have to be able to say, ‘I am good enough.’”

For the future, Bramlett hopes to seek commercial work in Los Angeles, pointing out that her dedication to concert dance hasn’t dampened her love for popular theatre, movies, or music videos at all. Likewise, the soon-to-be graduate could envision herself dancing for a contemporary company or teaching dance. For Bramlett, the future is bright because any dance-related option will bring her joy. “Dance is a way to express myself without words. I don’t go a day without dancing.” With her talent and a level of dedication that only true passion can bring, Angel Bramlett seems poised to do great things in the years to come.

Meet Simon Phillips: The Healing Power of Dance


By Kelsey Medlin

There is a healing power to movement and expression, and according to Kennesaw State junior, Simon Phillips, dance gives a person “confidence and strength.” The dance and psychology double major has personal experience with the power of dance making him the person he is today. Simon wants to someday combine his interest of the mind with his passion for dance and develop his own original technique based off of the psychological effect of dance and the process of mental healing.

Simon started dancing at the age of five just for recreation. He remembers attending a camp at the Tubman African American Museum in Macon, Georgia, where he grew up. There, the kids learned to dance, and Simon discovered a strong passion that would follow him the rest of his life. After transferring schools in middle school, he met Pilar Wilder, the owner and instructor of Hayiya Dance Theatre, who encouraged him to seek and study all forms of dance, from tap and jazz to ballet and swing.

At the time, “it was all just fun for me. It made me feel confident and helped me find out who I was,” says Simon. He was not planning on making his passion a career until he was a senior at Central Fine Arts High School. When he was looking into colleges, his guidance counselor advised him to look at dance as a career path since the Governor’s Honor Program recognized him as a great dancer.

Since his freshman year at KSU, Simon has grown in both of his majors, influenced by the life lessons he has learned and the professors he has met along the way. Simon says the most influential lesson he has learned so far is “hands down: relationship building. It’s not just about what you know, but who you know.”

After graduation, Simon wants to take time and pursue a performance career. Simon says that performing is a “way to give back to the community,” which contributes to his overall dream of being an influential part of his community. He aims to audition for two dance companies in particular, Gallim Dance and Batsheva Dance, but would “love the opportunity to just dance––period– in any contemporary company.”

While Simon sees himself as a dancer and a psych major, he says the best way to describe himself is as an “artist,” someone who looks at the world with an “artistic open-mind.” He believes he is able to analyze things creatively and pushes himself to think outside of the box. “Being yourself is a form of art,” he says, which has influenced his goal to one day open a practice and studio of his own where he can use the healing power of movement to help others find out who they are and build the same kind of confidence Simon finds in himself.

As a way to being giving back to his community, Simon wants the KSU community to look at a quote by Howard Thurman, which has always influenced him and his progression to obtain his dream, and discover what it means to them. Thurman says, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that, because the world needs people who have come alive.”

Faculty Exhibition I, Fine Arts Gallery

imageThe Faculty Exhibition I will open August 18th and run through September 13th. Meet the artists and enjoy a reception on August 18th from 5-8 p.m. Fine Arts Gallery, Wilson Building.

24 Hour Play Festival, Sept. 6th, Stillwell Theatre


Coordinated by Jamie Bullins, it’s the perfect blend of planning and spontaneity. In only 24 hours, student writers, directors, actors, and designers transform their ideas into inventive theatre.
Stillwell Theater | September 6, 2014 | 8 p.m. | $5

Sunset Boulevard, Stillwell Theatre, Aug. 22nd!


Adapted from the 1950 film by Billy Wilder; Directed by Jim Davis.
The TPS Faculty performs a staged reading of one of America’s classic films, a tale of love and loss in Hollywood. An annual benefit performance for education abroad scholarships.

Stillwell Theater, August 22, 2014 | 8 p.m. | $10