|Students work with award-winning playwright
Humana Visiting Professor brings play to campus
RELEASED: Oct. 16, 2003
DANVILLE, KYHerman Daniel Farrell III, Centre Humana Visiting Professor, has been commissioned by Centre College to write a new play for DramaCentre. Farrell's The Beloved Community will be presented on Nov. 5-8 at 8 p.m. at Weisiger Theatre. The play will be directed by Anthony Haigh, professor of dramatic arts at Centre.
Exploring the legacy of the civil-rights movement, The Beloved Community brings three 1960's activists to an unnamed liberal arts college campus of today to interact with a group of current students. The group collaborates on a play within a play that, according to Farrell, "illustrates the triumph of the civil-rights movement in ending segregation in America but the drama also notes the continuing tension between blacks and whites."
Farrell comments, "As a child of the 1960s (born in 1961) I have always been interested in looking at how the people changed the times and how the times changed the people. This play examines some of the people who were active in transforming America, and it explores how they, as individuals have been transformed over time."
Farrell has been attending rehearsals of The Beloved Community, providing Centre students the opportunity to work one-on-one with the playwright. Farrell appreciates the hard work that the students have put into this production, and he's incorporated their comments and suggestions into the script. He states, "Crafting a new play is quite different than rehearsing a play that you pull down off the shelf. The actors have had to deal with re-writes, line cuts, new scenes, and new directions for their characters. Their diligence and tenacity has never wavered."
Farrell was born in New York and currently resides in Midway, Ky. He's written more than 30 plays. Boycott, a screenplay co-written by Farrell based on the book Daybreak of Freedom: The Montgomery Bus Boycott by Stewart Burns, was made into a movie by HBO Films in 2001. He's received numerous honors and awards including: the Playwriting Award at the 2002 New York International Fringe Festival, a Peabody
Award, and a NAACP Image Award. Farrell received an M.F.A. in playwriting from Columbia University, a J.D. from the New York University School of Law, and a B.A. cum laude, in drama from Vassar College.
The Centre Humana Visiting Professor program, funded by an endowment from the Humana Foundation, allows Centre to invite leading scholars to campus each year to directly share in the lives of students and faculty. The college rotates the program among various academic areas, bringing outstanding persons from fields ranging from literature to science. Tickets for The Beloved Community may be purchased through Centre's Norton Center for the Arts box office at (859) 236-4692.
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