Poetry Slam information meeting for young poets to be held Saturday at Spencer

sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 16, 2012 

My theater friends are doing well.

As well as poor theater friends go, anyway.

Jonathan Perkins, who has often directed and starred in shows at the Liberty Theatre, is now putting together the inaugural Brave New Voices Poetry Slam.

He says Spencer High School English teacher Jennifer Farrell was one of the first teachers to respond favorably to the new poetry slam.

Jennifer said one of her students, after competing at last year’s poetry slam, decided to go to college. Another student reconnected with her mother after seeing her come to the slam at the Columbus Museum.

Though museum staffers aren’t organizing this year’s slam, the competition will still be held at the museum. Jonathan says Kaci Kelly, the museum’s school and educator services coordinator, has been very supportive.

Young poets, ages 13 to 19, who want to participate are invited to attend a general meeting from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at Spencer High School’s auditorium. The young poets will learn about the rules and get information about the slam.

Two preliminary rounds will be held at 6 p.m. March 8 and March 15 at the Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton Road. The winners of these two rounds go to the finals at 6 p.m. April 19, also at the museum.

It’s free for students to participates.

Young poets don’t have to be high school students to participate. If you’re 13 and still in middle school, you can participate. If you’ve already graduated from high school and are still 19, you can participate.

Jonathan hopes to take the top six poets to the national Brave New Voices to San Francisco on July 17-22.

However to make the trip, It will cost each student about $1,000 to register. And there will be other costs such as meals; rooms are included.

To help with those costs, Jonathan has started a kickstarter account where people can donate money to help pay for those costs.

For more call Jonathan at 706-610-0255.

Heard gets award

Troy Heard, who was artistic director of the Chattahoochee Shakespeare Co., has been in Las Vegas for two years after leaving Columbus.

He’s been directing shows at the Las Vegas Little Theatre.

The Desert Companion newspaper just gave him the Best Director award.

David McKee of the paper wrote, “When the play 'Hellcab' pulled into Las Vegas Little Theatre at the end of 2010, few suspected that its near-perfect staging marked the beginning of an exceptional run by director Troy Heard. This year, he demonstrated a temperament that encompassed postmodern drollery ('Thom Pain'), high camp ('Theodora, She-Bitch of Byzantium'), black farce ('That Atrocious Tradition' presented as part of the first-ever 'Fearophilia' festival) and capped these achievements with a blood-curdling, immersive staging of Jennifer Haley’s cyber-horror drama, 'Neighborhood III: Requisition of Doom.' In his spare time, he crafted a 'found footage' shocker out of Christopher Durang’s 'The Book of Leviticus Show.' Except for a too-many-cooks 'Tommy' at Green Valley Ranch, Heard’s productions are marked by fine detail, intense unanimity of purpose and an ability to get the best his actors have in them. Next up: a stage adaptation of 'The Corpse Grinders' and LVLT’s summer tuner, 'The Great American Trailer Park Musical.' Heard keeps proclaiming he’s on the verge of 'retirement,' but don’t believe him for a minute.”

Pretty cool, right?

Congratulations, Troy!

Sandra Okamoto, sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8580.

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