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6 April 2007
JSU to Perform Southern Playwright Winner

Reprinted here from the Anniston Star in its entirety.


Three student actors had the same reaction after reading the theatrical drama Piano.

“Each one said it's about liberation,” recalls Susan McCain, the play's director and a professor of drama at Jacksonville State University. “Liberation from guilt, liberation from oneself, liberation from different angles.”

The play, written by David Hall and winner of the 2006 Southern Playwright's competition, features only three characters: Ma, played by Shelly Hall, Hardy played by Coty Cockrell; and Jim played by Jarrod Cuthrell. They live on a farm somewhere near Omaha and struggle with the day-to-day while still trying to deal with the past, which includes a father who deserted them.

The play has no connection with the 1993 movie, The Piano, which won Holly Hunter an Oscar for Best Female Actor.

The three actors have been given a good bit of leeway to discover the subtleties of their roles, McCain says.

“I've worked very strongly in terms of equal opportunity with the actors,” McCain says. “It's a big load and they're just doing beautifully. There's a true sense of collaboration.”

Those who come to Piano will hopefully see some genuine, familiar family dynamics taking place onstage, McCain says, something they may be able to see in their own lives.

The play runs Thursday through Saturday, April 12-15, in JSU's Ernest Stone Performing Arts Center.

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