The School of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University has produced its second radio play, an innovative original work by playwright and SFA faculty member Jackie Rosenfeld, entitled "spam: in all lower-case letters."
The half-hour program, directed by Zach Hanks, assistant professor of acting/directing, will air on campus radio station KSAU (FM 90.1) at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, with subsequent broadcasts at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29. It will also be available as a podcast at theatre.sfasu.edu from Sept. 26 through Dec. 14.
The production features characters voiced by a student cast. It was recorded in the School of Theatre's recently renovated, state-of-the-art sound laboratory and features sound design and mixing by CC Conn, an SFA assistant professor who specializes in theatrical sound and lighting design. The original music is by School of Art graduate student Nancy Andrew.
Rosenfeld's humorous script is drawn directly from the maddening and often absurd junk e-mail messages that clog in-boxes worldwide. The play centers on an exchange between a young woman and a "Nigerian barrister" promising romance and riches, and also includes surprising statistics and other background information about spam, as well as the texts of some of the most bizarre and ridiculous messages promulgated by producers of bulk e-mail, according to Scott Shattuck, director of the School of Theatre.
Stage plays by Rosenfeld can be seen this fall at Kingwood College in Houston and at The Secret Theatre in New York City. Hanks is a well known professional voice actor and director of voice actors who was until recently based in Los Angeles, Calif. He used the production opportunity to familiarize the students involved with microphone technique and other voice acting skills.
The barrister, Kube, is played by Pearland junior Nnamdi Nwankwo, and his correspondent, Kim, is portrayed by senior Valarie McLeckie of Longview. A computer voice named Factoid is played by Houston senior Sarah Wisterman. Sophomore James Bowling of Austin, juniors Sloan Frierson of Center Point and Ashe Vernon of The Woodlands, and senior Luke Norton of Sherman round out the cast. Senior John Lisi of Mesquite was the production coordinator.
"A large new audience responded enthusiastically to our first radio production in 2011-12, and I know they will enjoy this play just as much," Shattuck said. "Including this medium in our production work provides an unusual range of learning opportunities for our students.
"The fact that they are working with professionals of the stature of Jackie Rosenfeld, Zach Hanks and CC Conn gives them an extraordinary chance to prepare for the exciting field of voice acting," he added, "while providing a hilarious treat for the SFA and Nacogdoches communities."