CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 8, 2014 — Scholar-Performer John Dennis Anderson will appear as the Nobel-Prize-winning Southern writer William Faulkner at 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, in the Redhawks Room at Southeast Missouri State University.
The performance is the first event of the Faulkner and Hurston Conference at Southeast Missouri State. Anderson’s performance is titled “Place, Race, and Books: A Literary Conversation with William Faulkner.”
Anderson’s literary performances are interactive solo presentations in the persona of major authors. He presents a monologue in character and then answers questions from the audience first in character and then out of character as a scholar. In character, Anderson tells stories based as much as possible on documented sources such as interviews, letters, recorded question-and-answer sessions, and biographies. His artistic goal is to create both an illusion of authenticity as well as a playful interactive game with the audience that encourages them to interact with him as the character. The monologue serves to establish a foundation of credibility from which the performance takes flight in the Q&A. In addition to William Faulkner, he performs as the writers Henry James, Robert Frost and Washington Irving.
Anderson is a performance studies scholar-performer and associate professor of communication studies at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of “Student Companion to William Faulkner” (Greenwood, 2007) and the co-recipient of the 2013 Coger Award for Distinguished Performance of the National Communication Association. The award was endowed by Leslie Irene Coger, who taught for many years at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri (now Missouri State University).
More information about Anderson can be found at his website jdanderson.org.