May 4th Voices
Kent State, 1970; A Play
Publication Year: 2013
The text of David Hassler’s play is based on the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project, begun in 1990 by Sandra Halem and housed in Kent State University Libraries’ Department of Special Collections and Archives. The collection is comprised of over 110 interviews, with first-person narratives and personal reactions to the events of May 4, 1970, from the viewpoints of members of the Kent community; Kent State faculty, students, alumni, staff, and administrators who were on campus that day; and National Guardsmen, police, hospital personnel, and others whose lives were affected by their experience. Weaving these voices and stories together anonymously, Hassler’s play tells the human story of May 4th and its aftermath, capturing the sense of trauma, confusion, and fear felt by all people regardless of where they stood that day.
Directed by Katherine Burke, May 4th Voices premiered on May 2, 2010, on the Kent State University campus. It offered the Kent community an opportunity to take ownership of its own tragic story and engage in a creative, healing dialogue. Now, with the publication of the play and its accompanying teacher’s guide and DVD, May 4th Voices brings to a national audience the emotional truth of this tragedy, connecting it to the larger issues of war, conflict, and trauma. A powerful work of testimony, May 4th Voices offers a new and unique contribution to the literature of the protest movement and the Vietnam era.
Published by: The Kent State University Press
Download PDF (1.6 MB)
Title Page, Copyright
Download PDF (112.7 KB)
Download PDF (73.2 KB)
Download PDF (87.7 KB)
...âA small encampment of listeners bending to the hard lessonsâ is the way a student discussion of Vietnam is described in David Hasslerâs May 4th Voices. This is not a play in the conventional sense, but bursts of live feelings recorded by the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project and woven together now to reenact the trauma of those days. ...
Download PDF (87.2 KB)
The idea for May 4th Voices grew out of many conversations and was developed through the creative and collaborative involvement of many people. The play was originally written and performed as part of a larger, multifaceted community arts project in honor of the 40th Commemoration of the May 4th tragedy. Conceived with Laura Davis, ...
Download PDF (88.1 KB)
On May 4, 1970, four students were killed and nine injured on the campus of Kent State University by the Ohio national Guard during a Vietnam War protest. nearly forty years later, i began work on a play, based on the ongoing Kent State Shootings Oral History Project, for collection of oral histories, begun in 1990 by Sandra Perlman Halem ...
Download PDF (76.3 KB)
May 4th Voices was first performed at Kent State University on May 2, 2010, directed by Katherine burke, for the 40th annual May 4th Commemoration. The original cast was comprised of Maj Ragain as narrator and thirteen students who were enrolled in a semester-long Devising Theatre class taught by Katherine burke in the Kent State ...
Download PDF (74.5 KB)
Download PDF (129.8 KB)
...i first came to Kent on a July morning, 1969. i was twenty-nine years old, having driven all night from illinois, hungover, raw, leav-ing the carnival undertow of my youth, hot dreams, and crazy love. i first saw the town from Route 59, the cluster of buildings catching the sun. i remember thinking it looked like the photographs of an ...
Download PDF (81.6 KB)
May 1, 1970. i was downtown in Walterâs bar, drinking Rolling trayed. Around eleven oâclock, after an nbA finals game on TV, the bars swelled over into the street, blocking traffic. Someone dumped a trash container and lit a bonfire on the centerline, then another. The horses of instruction were in the barn. The tigers of ...
Download PDF (113.6 KB)
My exposure to the university was really limited. My sister had gone there, but it was on the other side of town. So Kent, to me, was my school and friends, and the university was what broke the and i walked over to the City bank on Water Street. i had always looked at its big pillars and believed they were made out of stone, ...
Download PDF (66.4 KB)
May 4. A clear, warm spring day, everything in blossom. it must have been after noon, when i watched a squad of national Guards-men kneel, lock, and load in front of Satterfield. it never occurred to me, nor to anyone else i talked to, that the Guard carried live, steel jacketed ammunition. We did not think of ourselves as the ...
Download PDF (96.3 KB)
...i didnât have my glasses on. i couldnât see very well through my i saw people hitting the dirt, so i hit the dirt thinking, âOkay, okay.âThis is not what it sounds like on TV. This is not what bullets sound i didnât know when to shoot, or what to shoot, or if i should shoot.After the shooting, it got totally quiet. i just heard air hissing out ...
Download PDF (89.0 KB)
All day i watched my motherâs back as she stood looking out the living room window. i didnât really understand what was going on. but i could tell from the line of her back and the tension in her When my mother heard the news, she went bananas. She couldnât So my mother and father loaded up the car to come out here. but i ...
Download PDF (109.4 KB)
Jeff Miller, who was a student of my friend Mike, was shot in the mouth at a distance of several hundred yards. That night i sat with Mike out in his yard, in the rain, as he drank and wept. i drank with him but couldnât find tears. i held him. He would not be consoled. As far as i know, Mike still isnât consoled. Something broke off ...
Download PDF (92.3 KB)
There was a knock on the door. Two guys in suits who said they were âi think youâre looking for the wrong guy. i think you want Mike âAre you sure you want Matthew, because Mike is my eldest son Well, Matt was my youngest brother. He was six years old, and heâd âYou asked to speak with Matthew Erwin, youâll speak with Mat-...
Download PDF (104.8 KB)
At sunset on May 4th, i left Kent and headed back to illinois. The national Guard had sealed off Kent. i drove up to one of the check-points across Route 43, just south of the 261 intersection. A young, ill at ease guardsman checked my driverâs license, took down the information on a clipboard, and set aside the barricade. i was a ...
Download PDF (1.7 MB)
May 4th Voices is full of surprising discoveries. The wife of a dying man prays for a wounded Kent State student just brought into the same intensive care unit as her husband . . . a high school teacher steps in front of a young antiwar student being pelted with little pebbles from a crowd of enraged bigger kids . . . a man speaks, for the first ...
Page Count: 36
Publication Year: 2013