Rogers State University’s Department of Communications and Fine Arts will present a faculty recital, with the featured program being an original presentation based on Nobel Prize-winning literature and early ‘70s folk-rock.
The recital will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4, and Friday, Nov. 5, in the Will Rogers Auditorium on RSU’s Claremore campus. Both shows are free and open to the public.
The featured program in an original performance entitled “Siddhartha,” which presents a musical story following the life of a seeker on his road to self-discovery. The script was adapted from the 1922 novel “Siddhartha” by German author Hermann Hesse, with songs from the folk-rock album “Tea for the Tillerman” by Cat Stevens. Dr. Jeff Gentry, head of RSU’s Department of Communications and Fine Arts, adapted the material and is directing the faculty performers.
The ensemble cast includes Dr. Chip Rogers, Dr. Ken Bugajski, Dr. Mary Mackie, Dr. Greg Petersen, E.G. Hallum, Trish Bugajski and Nancy Gill. Petersen is the musical director and guitarist, and Gill is the pianist. All are faculty members with the Department of Communication and Fine Arts.
The 75-minute program will open with a brief collection of jazz, pop and rock songs by Petersen, Gill and Rogers. Songs to be performed include “Route 66,” “With Every Breath I Take,” “Fly Me To The Moon,” “Falling Down” and “The Fiddle and The Drum,” as well as an original song, “Nevermore,” by Rogers.
Mackie will perform her original poem, “The Ballad of the Weary Wanderer,” and Hallum will perform the poem “Scratches” by John Weaver and his original work, “Ananda.”
The featured performance, “Siddhartha,” will be presented in the Readers Theatre-style, which Gentry describes as “theater of the mind.” In this style, the performance forgoes the use of full stage sets and costumes, and performers hold scripts during the presentation.
“Readers Theatre stimulates the imagination because the focus is on the word and not the spectacle,” Gentry said. “We hope that this recital will serve as an introduction of Readers Theatre to students and to the community.”
Gentry also pointed out that the authors of the source material used in the Readers Theatre presentation have been seen in recent mainstream media releases with “Siddhartha” quoted at length in the new film “First Daughter,” and Sheryl Crow’s recent No. 1 hit “The First Cut is the Deepest,” which was penned by Cat Stevens.