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King University News :: Actor Nathan Rouse to Bring Award-Nominated Production "The Birth" to King College

Actor Nathan Rouse, along with actors from Starving Artist Productions, will perform “The Birth: A Reflective Celebration of the Coming of Christ” at King College on Dec. 3 and 4, 2010, as part of The Buechner Insititute’s 2010-11 Lecture Series.

The Birth” is a thematic one-act developed and adapted for the stage by Nathan Rouse.  The show tells the story of the first Christmas through a series of dramatic monologues from various figures involved in the event.  A stirring, haunting hymn called “Mary,” written by Charlotte singer/songwriter Sarah DeShields, completes the effort begun during the fourth season to make all of the live musical offerings completely original pieces.

The play was inspired by a reading of Pulitzer Prize nominated author Frederick Buechner’s book, “The Magnificent Defeat.” In a chapter titled “The Birth,” Buechner composes a series of character monologues in the voice of those closest to the narrative of Christ’s arrival.  The production was nominated by Creative Loafing for Theatre Event of the Year in 2009.

In a recent article, The Charlotte Observer said of the production, “Now entering its fifth year, ‘The Birth’ has captivated audiences each Christmas with a ‘sparse,’ bare theatre experience that effortlessly wanders onto sacred ground.”

“We are excited to welcome this production to our campus and for our students to have the opportunity to work with professional theatre artists,” said Elizabeth Dollar, chair of King’s Performing and Visual Arts Department, and director and professor of Theatre.

A graduate of Gardner-Webb University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts, Nathan Rouse has been performing on stages throughout the Southeast for over a decade.  From Shakespeare at The Springer Opera House, the state theatre of Georgia , to C. S. Lewis at The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte to the highways and byways of North Carolina on tour with The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Rouse has performed the bard for all comers.  In 2008, Rouse established Starving Artist Productions, an artistic banner under which he plans to create and execute future productions of “The Birth” as well as other original material.

Nathan Rouse along with actors Kate Rouse, Shelley Jones, Grant Hopkins, Rodney Kennerly, and Josh Spence will perform “The Birth” each evening at 7 p.m. in King’s Fine Arts Theatre.  Sponsored by King’s Theatre Department, tickets will be $10 general admission, $7.50 senior citizens, $5 students, and free with a King College ID.  Tickets will be available at the door and at the King College Tornado Alley Shoppe.

For more information, contact Dale Brown, director of The Buechner Institute, at wdbrown@king.edu or at 423.652.4156.  For additional information about “The Birth: A Reflective Celebration of the Coming of Christ,” visit www.thebirth.net.