Kennesaw State Department of Theatre and Performance Studies to present “Wondrous Strange”

Nine mini plays take audiences from laughter to sheer terror in a smorgasbord of the spiritual world

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 21, 2021) — Kennesaw State University’s Department of Theatre and Performance Studies (TPS) will present Wondrous Strange October 5-10 at the Onyx Theater on the Kennesaw campus. Inspired by Kentucky ghost tales, this collage of short plays explores our endless fascination with hauntings, spirits, and paranormal happenings. Louisville Insight wrote that Wondrous Strange is “a sweet, creepy, and hilarious horror-comedy-romance.” 

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image of woman floating in woods
Theatre student Issa Solis; image by Lauren Liz Photo.

The nine little plays, or playlets, range from four minutes to ten minutes each but are all tied together with a common theme. TPS professor and director Karen Robinson says that the work “is like a smorgasbord; the stories keep changing. They are all delightful, they are so different from one another, but they are all linked together by our fascination with the supernatural.” 

Originally commissioned by Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, this Atlanta-area premiere has a cast of 17, four directors (including three students), a student lighting designer, and three professional guest artist designers. Robinson is excited about the many possibilities the play offers for TPS students, whether on stage or behind the scenes, in the case of her three student directors. 

TPS students Emily Denovich, Katie Nelson, and Veronica Sanders are each directing two playlets. Denovich says she learned a lot from directing, as the play “involves a lot of movement and timing, as well as working with the actors, designers, and crew to build this world,” leading to “a wonderful, collaborative experience.” 

image of costume design
Guest artist Jordan Jaked Carrier designed the costumes; above, costumes in "The Bonnets."
Nelson said that “getting to work on this show is the perfect transitional experience to get to have a more mature role in the rehearsal room before I move into my post-grad theatre career.” Sanders not only will take away the importance of listening “to the other creative voices in the room,” but of also being prepared to share her own ideas as well. All three student directors are excited about the production. 

“This funny, poignant, and terrifyingly creepy play opens a window in the world of ghosts, who may take many different forms, but they are very real,” says Denovich. Nelson adds, “Audience will see some scenes that are scary, or sad, or creepy, but they’ll also laugh really hard—hopefully—and listen to some amazing music, learn about bizarre folklore, and witness some incredible theatre design feats.” 

Sanders says fans of the supernatural will be right at home. “You’ll leave the show having encountered the various ways the supernatural can manifest itself—and, trust me, there are many!” she says. Robinson was surprised that so many students “love horror movies; they love the whole notion of the spiritual world and ghosts and hauntings. There is this real widespread attraction to that dimension of our curiosity about what happens when people die, and our yearning to stay connected to something beyond the material world.” 

Tickets for this in-person event start at only $10; please buy your tickets early because space is very limited. Learn more about the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies

--Kathie Beckett

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