Campbell’s ‘American Salvage’ taking center stage at OwensWritten by John Dorsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Owens Community College’s latest theater production takes a look at the darker fabric of the American Midwest. The stage adaptation of Bonnie Jo Campbell’s acclaimed short story collection “American Salvage” will debut in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts Mainstage Theatre on Nov. 21.
Campbell’s book was selected as the Campus Read book by the college literacy committee for 2013. The stage production features Jon Masters, Jeremy Stuart, Devon Held, Jamie Ramlawi, Ashley Helmke, Esteban Vega, Silvester Rodriguez IV., Landon Tavernier, Alyson Phillips, Alexandra Brackett and Dejah Rubel. The adaptation, by director Jeremy Meier, is based on Campbell’s stories “King Cole’s American Salvage” and “The Inventor, 1972.” The production features original music by Eric Wallack.
“Bonne Jo’s work is raw and gritty. She writes very interesting stories with compelling characters that translate well for the stage. This is the first time these stories have been adapted, which was a real learning experience for me coming from the world of conventional narrative theater, we don’t really try to disguise that this production is based on short fiction. Bonnie Jo was involved in the process and was very encouraging, as was her publisher, who gave us the rights to do this for free. She basically said do whatever you want,” said Meier.
“American Salvage” was published in 2009 by W.W. Norton and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Campbell is also the author of “Women & Other Animals: Stories” (University of Massachusetts, 2000), “Q Road” (Scribner, 2003) and “Once Upon A River: A Novel” (W.W. Norton, 2012), amongst others. Campbell has won of the AWP award for short fiction, the Pushcart prize, and the Eudora Welty Prize. More information on her can be found at her website www.bonniejocampbell.com
“I think that people should come out to this show because a lot of times you see the same shows being done again and again and this is just something new, something different with a real human element,” Meier said.
Show dates are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21-23 and 3 p.m. Nov. 24. A talk back with Campbell as well as the actors will be held following the Nov. 23 performance. The two pieces are performed back to back and contain adult language. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at www.tix.com Admission is free with a valid Express Card ID.
For more information, call 1-800-GO-OWENS or visit www.owens.edu/arts
Tags: Alexandra Brackett and Dejah Rubel, Alyson Phillips, American Midwest, American Salvage, Ashley Helmke, AWP award for short fiction, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Center for Fine and Performing Arts Mainstage Theater, Devon Held, Eric Wallack, Esteban Vega, Eudora Welty Prize, Jamie Ramlawi, Jeremy Stuart, Jon Masters, King Cole’s American Salvage, Landon Tavernier, National Book Award, Owens Community College, Pushcart Prize, Silvester Rodriguez IV., W.W. Norton