Rooted: The Greensburg Odyssey
On May 4, 2007, the small town of Greensburg, Kansas was almost completely destroyed by a massive tornado. Following the tornado, the people of Greensburg determined to rebuild their town as a model sustainable community. Their journey to transform a catastrophe into an exemplary achievement to the world is the stuff of legend.
The William Inge Center for the Arts has joined forces with Cornerstone Theater Company and the 5.4.7 Arts Center of Greensburg, Kansas, to help the people of Greensburg tell their incredible story in Rooted: The Greensburg Odyssey.
Marcia Cebulska has written 19 plays which have been produced at theatres across the country including: The Georgia Repertory Theatre; HERE (New York City); The Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis); Frontera at Hyde Park (Austin); Fremont Centre Theatre (Pasadena) and The Theatre Building (Chicago). TOUCHED (2006), premiered at the 25th anniversary William Inge Theatre Festival, for which it was commissioned. NOW LET ME FLY, commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, and written while she was playwright-in-residence at the William Inge Theatre Festival, was performed at 100 venues across the country (2007) including the National Constitution Center, the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and Dobama Theatre. VISIONS OF RIGHT won her the Dorothy Silver Award (2001), was developed at Chicago Dramatists, and was presented at the Stage 3 Festival of New Plays. FLORIDA was chosen for development by the prestigious Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (1995) and later produced at the Festival of Emerging American Theatre (1997) and elsewhere. AND WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS, winner of the Jane Chambers International Award, was developed at Shenandoah Playwrights Retreat (1989) and was named “Best of ’97″ by CITY MAGAZINE in Indianapolis.
Marcia has received three Master Artist Fellowships from the Indiana Arts Commission, a Kentucky Foundation for Women grant and the 2001 Kansas Arts Commission Fellowship in Playwriting. Ms. Cebulska has been artist-in-residence at The University of Georgia, Marion College, the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts and the William Inge Center for the Arts. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild and Chicago Dramatists. Having lived in Chicago, New York, Miami, Berkeley, Seattle, Santa Cruz, Pasadena, Copenhagen, Mexico City, Lima, Bloomington, Indiana, Athens and a Greek island, Marcia Cebulska now resides in Topeka, Kansas with her husband, historian Thomas Prasch.
As a director and playwright, Laurie has collaborated on many new works including Jason in Eureka written by Peter Howard, For All Time written by KJ Sanchez, A Holtville Night’s Dream written by Alison Carey, 3/7/11: A Lincoln Heights Tale written by Jose Cruz Gonzalez and the students of Loreto Elementary, Nightingale Middle School and Lincoln High School as part of Cornerstone’s first Youth Community Collaboration. Recently, Laurie directed The Language Archive by Julia Cho at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has also directed Amor Eterno – Six Lessons in Love (an anthology by six Latino playwrights) for the grand opening of the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, Bryan Davidson’s Reflecting Back at the Los Angeles Central Library as part of the National Tour of the American Originals exhibit and Richard Coca’s solo piece The Day I Flipped Off Jimmy Carter for SCR’s Hispanic Playwrights Project. As a director, playwright, educator and actor, Laurie has worked at South Coast Repertory (Director of the Theatre Conservatory), Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Inge Center for the Arts, Denver Center, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Ricardo Montalban Theatre, Deaf-West Theatre, fofo Theatre, Highways Performance Space, A Noise Within, Sundance Playwrights Lab as well as the Sundance Children’s Theatre. Cornerstone Theater Company commissioned her solo play Salvadorian Moon/African Sky for its citywide Festival of Faith. Several of her plays Scouting Reality, Bliss, The Hundred Dresses and Orphan Train: The Lost Children have received world premieres at South Coast Repertory. She is a long time artist with the Virginia Avenue Project and former artist-in-residence for Hollygrove Children’s Home. Laurie is on faculty at California Institute of the Arts, Citrus College, and California State University at Northridge and serves on the Board of the Latino Producers Action Network (LPAN), Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) and the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America.
In some ways Roots R&B/Americana singer/songwriter/piano player/guitarist KELLEY HUNT is a rarity and a challenge to the music industry’s penchant for easy artist definitions — a woman who has muscled her way onto the scene on her own terms with an identity steeped in blues/roots/gospel traditions and a refreshing originality. She makes music with it’s righteous roots intact that also crosses boundaries, has an open-minded, exploratory attitude and takes on social and political issues. Together with a commanding, passionate stage presence and superior vocal, keyboard and songwriting skills she has earned the respect of critics and fans across North America and Europe.
Born in Kansas City, Hunt’s love for her craft was ignited listening to early blues, R&B, roots rock, jazz and Gospel influences. Before that came the sound of her mother singing jazz and blues – her first musical memories – and the influence of her New Orleans Gospel singer grandmother. Reminders of these very traditional influences are evident in Kelley’s live performances and recordings but the lyrics, soul and passion are all her own. Her career path so far has been a story of fierce independence, incredible will, unassailable cred as a blistering live performer and hard-won accomplishment. That narrative includes 1500+ performances with appearances on a long list of premier North American and International festival stages, six times on American Public Media’s ‘A Prairie Home Companion’, nearly 150,000 indie units sold on her own label and critical praise reflecting her conviction from the outset to make her path in the roots music world not just as a performer, but as a forward-thinking songwriter as well.