Aug. 21, 2009
Morningside College’s theatre department will present a one-man performance of “Beowulf” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, and on Saturday, Sept. 12, with a high school student matinee at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, at Klinger-Neal Theatre, 3700 Peters Avenue.
Arthur Moss, assistant professor of theatre at Morningside College, adapted the Old English epic into a one-man show, and he will be featured in the performance.
In the original poem, Beowulf gains fame and fortune as a young man when he kills two formidable monsters and eventually becomes king of his people. Later, when Beowulf is an old man, he must battle a fire-breathing dragon. Although he kills the dragon, he is mortally wounded, and the poem ends with his funeral.
Moss shortened the first half of the poem down to about a third of its original length, and he wrote an interpretation of the poem that follows the style of the original. He also wrote a framing device that puts the poem in a specific context.
“Art Moss has written a gripping adaptation of ‘Beowulf’ that translates the sound and vocabulary of Old English poetry into a modern idiom,” said Marty Knepper, professor and chair of English and interim chair of theatre at Morningside.
Moss has more than 30 years of experience in theatre. He has a Master of Fine Arts in acting and directing from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and he has trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.
“‘Beowulf’ is probably the most influential poem ever written,” Moss said. “It’s been turned into plays, musicals, video games, movies, cartoons, graphic novels, you name it. In my version of ‘Beowulf,’ I’ve tried to make the language straightforward and powerful, so the poem should be fairly easy to follow. It’s an exciting story.”
General admission is $5 and $1 for Morningside students and other area college students with a valid ID. Reservations can be obtained by calling the Klinger-Neal Theatre box office at 712-274-5197.
Reservations for high school classes may be made by contacting Marcie Ponder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 712-274-5126. There is no admission charge for the high school student matinee.
Follow this link to access a calendar of other campus events open to the public.