English instructor has play produced in New York City
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
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KNIGHTS OF THE SQUARE TABLE – Backstage at the American Theatre of Actors are the cast of “Knights of the Square Table.” From left are Vance Bradford (Brian), Ron Barba (John), Meryl Sykes (Carol), Alan Marsh (playwright), Elaine Stenson (Donna), Nikki Gold (Bridgette), David Cochran (Robert), Daniel Roberts (director), and James Jennings (producer).
HAMMOND – “Knights of the Square Table,” a play by Southeastern Louisiana University English instructor Alan Marsh, was recently produced at the American Theatre of Actors, a combination of four theaters in New York City.
According to Marsh, the play – which was performed in one off and three off-off Broadway theaters -- is basically a verbal version of “Fight Club,” the movie starring Brad Pitt in which men join an underground club and fight each other.
“In my opinion, the idea of men fighting in any way, whether physically or mentally, is about competition, testosterone and men looking for an identity,” Marsh said. “I think it’s some type of dominance thing, but mostly about identity.”
Marsh frequently collaborates with colleague Dayne Sherman, associate professor and coordinator of user education at Southeastern’s Sims Memorial Library. Upon reading a 10-minute version of the play, Sherman encouraged Marsh to put everything on the back burner and work solely on the play.
“Apparently he was right because I sent it to James Jennings, president of the American Theatre of Actors. He liked the play and said it was out of the box, but it needed to be at least 30 minutes long to be produced,” Marsh said. “I lengthened the play, and it graduated to the pool of consideration for directors, at which point is was selected for production.”
The play premiered in November in New York City, where Marsh traveled to see it and meet with the play’s director Daniel Roberts.
“The director loved the play so much that he asked me to make it longer,” Marsh said. “A play on Broadway is normally an hour and a half. Currently ‘Knights’ is about 35 minutes. So that’s the next project – to make the play even longer.”
When seeing the play performed, Marsh was impressed by the enthusiasm and talent displayed by the actors.
“The best part was seeing my work come to life of stage. They did a great job with the play.”