Group anticipates unique performance of Beat Poetry


By Will Hoheisel

CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Later this month, the Readers’ Theatre Project group of Camden County College will treat audiences to a unique show experience called “The Beats Go On.”

The show was adapted by and is under the direction of Dan Patrick, an adjunct professor at CCC and a veteran actor from the RTP.

After the performances of last year’s RTP production, “Spoon River Anthologies,” Allison Green, the artistic director of RTP, asked Patrick to write and direct the next production. While tossing some ideas around, he finally came up with a winner.

“The idea occurred to me to revisit the so-called ‘beat poets’ or the ‘beatnik’ writers from the early 1950s through the early (1960s),” Patrick said this week.

“Beats” is a compilation of the works of these “beatniks” performed by a cast of 10 voice artists/readers.

Among this cast, as well as the crew, some are personally fascinated by the Beat era.

“It’s my favorite era,” said Samantha Hitman, the production liaison for “Beats.”

“I like how the beatniks were … protesting through art,” said Erene Davis, one of the readers for “Beats.”

In addition to seeing the performances of the cast, audience members will also experience a special bonus. What makes this show unique among other RTP shows is that they’ll be able to go up on stage as the Dennis Flyer Theatre gets transformed into Greenwich Village.

“There will be cafe tables onstage … like a coffee house. We’ll have … snacks, coffee, decaf, tea,” said Green.

When everything comes together, the crew hopes that the show will not only be exciting but also emotional for audiences.

“I hope that it will give them a deeper appreciation, particularly among our students, of their grandparents,” said Green.

“Some of the older members of the audience will have a kind of nostalgic trip with this,” Patrick said.

“The Beats Go On” will take place at 8 p.m. on April 18 and at 2 and 8 p.m. on April 19. It will be performed at the Dennis Flyer Memorial Theatre located in Lincoln Hall at the CCC Blackwood campus. Attendees can pay what they wish to for admittance, but the suggested donation is $10. Seating is limited, so it is best to make a reservation if you plan to attend. If you wish to make a reservation or need more information about the show, call 856-227-7200, ext. 4362 or send a request e-mail to readerstheatre@camdencc.edu.

The cast of “The Beats Go On” practice the poem “America” during a rehearsal in Truman Hall Room 105. By Will Hoheisel, CCC Journalism Program

The cast of “The Beats Go On” practice the poem “America” during a rehearsal in Truman Hall Room 105. By Will Hoheisel, CCC Journalism Program

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