Scholar

Cultivating Dignity

By: Kristen Morgan Morgan   Alycia Bright Holland   De Ron Williams  

"Cultivating Dignity" documents the most recent community-based devising work of Theatre and New Media Studies students and professors at Eastern Connecticut State University. In collaboration with community members in Hartford and eastern Connecticut's tobacco-farming region, we have brought to the stage the story of the young Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s time spent working at the Cullman Brothers tobacco farm in Simsbury, CT during his summers away from Morehouse College in Atlanta. Using a process of conducting oral histories to devise a script; combining field recordings, gospel songs, and traditional music to create a soundscape; and animating photographic research to develop a multimedia visual accompaniment; Dr. King's transformative years are brought to life for community audiences. This process of work invites the artistic input of a wide range of voices, and emphasizes ECSU's commitment to bringing diverse stories to the stage. We believe that transformation and catharsis happen when people see their own stories reflected onstage with truth and dignity.

Community Arts, Diversity, Identities, Multimedia, Ethnography, Performing Arts
The Arts in Social, Political, and Community Life
Creative Practice Showcase



Prof. Kristen Morgan Morgan

Eastern Connecticut State University, United States
Connecticut, United States

Kristen Morgan designs scenery and projected media for live performance. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Performing Arts at Eastern Connecticut State University. Teaching areas include Scenography and Emergent Media. Professional work includes projects for Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, Soho Rep (NYC), The Piano Store (NYC), Richard Foreman's Ontological-Hysteric Theater (NYC), New York University, Columbia University, ESPN Winter and Summer X Games, Perrier, Stanford University, and Radio City Music Hall. Kristen worked for many years in New York with Hotopp Associates and CPR-Group. Prior to teaching at Eastern, she taught Scenic Technology in the Department of Theatre and Cinema at Virginia Tech. She is also a longtime collaborator with The Gravity Project/Juniata Visiting Artist Collective and Washington, D.C. area-based The Hub Theatre.


Alycia Bright Holland

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De Ron Williams

Assistant Professor, Eastern Connecticut State University, United States
United States