TU Alumnus Kyle Dougan Directs BEOWULF: Lord of the Bros - Kendall College of Arts and Sciences

TU Alumnus Kyle Dougan Directs BEOWULF: Lord of the Bros

University of Tulsa 2008 graduate, Kyle Dougan, returned this fall to direct Beowulf: Lord of the Bros, a modern and comedic take on the original epic poem written by Matt Deitchman and Jed Feder.  For a week in October, students worked side by side with Dougan, Deitchman, and Feder to bring this up and coming work to life. The residency was made possible by funding through the J. Donald Feagin Visiting Artist program.

In the play, Ross Garth is a 20-something whose roommate is moving, but he’s not ready to have his girlfriend, Cass, move in.  Enter Beowulf: Lord of the Bros, Savior of Parties, and the embodiment of charisma, who is here to turn Ross’ life around.  When Beo’s methods prove too extreme, friendships are tested, parties are busted and jokes abound.  Eventually, Ross and Beowulf are forced to face their immature ways and try to grow up.

During the weeklong rehearsal workshop, Deitchman and Feder allowed students to provide input on their characters through adlibbing and feedback.  By seeing the students’ unique interpretation of their individual characters, Deitchman and Feder were able to revise the script–creating a work that better expressed their artistic ideas, and unifying the ensemble through the process.

Austen Naron, cast as the history-loving “Classic Liam”, expressed what a wonderful and educational experience it was to work with a guest director and professional writers.  “Thank you to Kyle, Matt, and Jed.  It has been invaluable to hear about the Chicago theatre scene and what it means to be professional.  The advice that they have given over the past week has given me hope for my future.”

Of his return to TU, Dougan states, “My TU degree is still as strong as when I graduated.  I received a multifaceted education as an artist.  I was not just trained to be a fantastic actor, but also trained to be a designer, director, stage manager, prop designer, and lighting designer.  It allowed me to be a better artist and director by having all of these skillsets.”  Since graduating, Dougan completed a master’s degree in directing and producing for musical theatre at Goldsmiths, University of London.  He then moved to Chicago, where he currently resides and acts as co-owner of Style Theatrical Casting.

The workshop’s success may be measured by the fact that both performances were sold-out and the entire company was met with thunderous applause. Dougan hopes this new musical workshop format will continue at TU and provide opportunities for upcoming students and emerging artists. It was an exciting collaboration for all. The writers were able to expand upon their original work while students were given an opportunity to make professional connections.