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Faulkner's Novel Comes to Stage in Catawba's Production of "As I Lay Dying"

September 16, 2011

Category: English, Events, Faculty, Students, Theatre Arts

As I Lay Dying


By Jordan Clifton, Class of 2014

A piece of classic Southern literature, adapted for the stage by Catawba College Writer-in-Residence and Professor of English Dr. Janice Moore Fuller, kicks off Catawba's 2011-2012 theatre season. Fuller's adaptation of William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" will be offered in Hedrick Theatre on campus at 6:55 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 27 and 28, and at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 29 through Saturday, October 1.

Someone familiar with the text of Faulkner's novel might ask how will each equally complex family member be transported to the stage? Fuller explains that on stage, she hopes that each character will exhibit the perfect amount of dialogue as well as self-reflective monologue, while Faulkner's novel, "shows the mind of each Bundren turning itself inside out, struggling to understand the world in his or her own exceptional but distorted way."

Directed by Catawba Theatre Arts Associate Professor Dr. Beth Homan, the play takes audiences into the lives of the dysfunctional Bundren family as they struggle to remain together while taking an arduous journey to fulfill their mother's last wish.  The play is set in Mississippi during the 1930s and tells a heart-wrenching story familiar to everyone  — of loss, love, and living inside a family that is dealing with life in its own ways.

As I Lay DyingCostume designers, junior Kat Campagna of Branford, Conn., and senior Robin Tynes of Asheville, have tried to set the perfect example of everyday life in their clothing choices for the Bundren family. "It is our goal to give the audience the experience of what it would be like to live in the Mississippi Delta in the 1930s. We decided to work with colors and textures that occur naturally in that area. Our concept came from exploration of the place itself.  We also did a great deal of research to create the most accurate world of the play. We focused on every detail being precise."

Cast members include junior Aaron Alderman of Durham; junior Sydney Berk of Encino, Calif.; junior Jodye Carroll of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; junior John Millbank of Chapel Hill; junior Jeffrey Salerno of Lake Mary, Fla.; junior Rayshaun Sandlin of Knightdale; senior Jered Shults of Sevierville, Tenn.; senior Jessie Siak of Hendersonville; junior Donna Steele of Charlotte; junior Greg Stoughton of Niceville, Fla.; senior Robin Tynes of Asheville; and Blue Masque guest artist and 2011 Catawba alumnus, Chris Herring of Oakboro.

Faculty designers include David Pulliam, set design; Christopher Zink, lighting design; and Erin Dougherty, hair and make-up design. Other crew members include senior Maggie Truxell of Cherry Hill, N.J., stage manager; junior Aaron Alderman of Durham, assistant set designer; senior Sydney Berk of Encino, Calif., co-lighting design; junior Jeffrey Salerno of Fla., sound design/engineering; junior Donna Steele of Charlotte, co-hair and make-up design; and junior Katie Johnson of Myersville, Md., assistant stage manager.

Tickets for "As I Lay Dying" are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and non-Catawba students. For more details, contact the Catawba College theatre box office at (704) 637-4481, or buy tickets online at


PhotosPHOTOS: "As I Lay Dying" Theatre Production



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