15th Annual Literary Festival
Lit Fest Home

Volume 32 Number 3, Thursday September 29, 1992

Words at Play: Time for the 15th
Annual Literary Arts Festival

By Maureen Laura,
Staff Writer

Between the 4th and 8th of October, ODU will instantly become an artistic community for the 15th Annual Literary Arts Festival. The campus may even resemble Greenwich Village. Well, maybe not. But creative expression will certainly be in the spotlight for the four days.

Photo courtesy of Ebony Impact
Ebony Impact will perform Wednesday at 2:00 in Chandler Recital Hall
The festival has expanded it's agenda this year to include theatre, music, dance, and even snakehandling. In the past, the festival has focused predominately on literary works and readings. This year, however, other forms of artistic performances have been added to offer some new and exciting experiences.

A play to be performed, Who All Killed Cock Robin, is a comic fantasy about a poet obsessed with a fifteen foot sparrow and he is being hunted down by a futuristic society. The author, William Patrick, is ODU coordinator of the creative writing program and director of the upcoming Literary Arts Festival.

Photo courtesy of Tim McLaurin
Snakehandling essayist Tim McLaurin

Besides comedy, the show also includes music and "crazy" stage effects. "It has lots of crazy stuff," said Patrick.

His play is adapted from The Death of Cock Robin by W.D. Snodgrass and is premiering at the festival October 4.

Festival performances of Who All Killed Cock Robin will be presented by the University Players with Erlene Hendrix as director and can be seen at the Stables Theatre, 1045 W. 47th street.

A musical presentation by Collegium Musicum captures the zestful spirit of drinking songs and the romantic lust of courtly love experienced during the Medieval period. The group also plays on instruments modeled after those used during that time period, between 1400-1650 A.D.

Singing performances by Agnus Fuller and Frank Ward will accompany the group, October 5th in Chandler Recital Hall.

Other musical presentations include Ebony Impact: ODU Gospel Choir and an original jazz performance by John Toomey, an ODU music professor.

Original work in dance by Marilyn Marloff, ODU coordinator of the dance degree program, will be presented to accompany a fiction reading from Paul West.

The combination of creative talents, according to Patrick, produces hybrid art forms and allows unique experiences for the community.

A combination of fiction reading and snakehandling by Tim McLaurin may provide that unique experience. McLaurin, former carnival performer and author of two books, will be seen handling his very large snake October 5th in the University Theatre. Although McLaurin has used poisonous snakes in the past, the poisonous condition of the snake for this performance is unknown.

As always, the Literary Arts Festival includes many poetry, fiction and non-fiction readings from influential writers. Among them are ODU English professors Philip Raisor, Janet Sylvester, Wayne Ude and David Fenza.

Witnessing the reading can be inspiring and entertaining. "It's a magic act with words," said English professor Dr. Michael Pearson, "and you get to see the words materialize."

Past Literary Festivals have been thoroughly enjoyed by students of all majors. The event gives students the opportunity to informally meet important, influential people.

"There's a lot of camaraderie," said Pearson.

High participation is expected at this year's Literary Arts Festival by students, professors and community members. Therefore, Patrick suggests arriving to events early. Check the festival schedule for performance times and locations.

Although most events are free, those with a charge have a $5.00 student rate.


Staff Photo by Bob Lake

Above, Erlene Hendrix directs the University players in William Pactrick's play, Who All Killed Cock Robin?

Below, Lee Teply, Director of Collegium Musicum.

File photo