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Realized in a dream, “Heat” opens in the Herberger College

September 09, 2002

WHAT: ASU’s Herberger College Department of Theatre presents “Heat,” an original play by Beverly Smith-Dawson and directed by Kindra Steenerson.

“Heat” is the coming-of-age story of an African-American girl, Speckled Girl, living in a mythical region of the Southwest. African and African-American mythology play a large part in this story, where a blood sacrifice brings water to the desert. At the heart of the story is the journey Speckled Girl must take from girlhood to womanhood, a journey replete with discovery, pleasure and pain.

Smith-Dawson received the vision for the script in a dream.

This play is not appropriate for young audiences.

WHENSept. 20-29, 2002, 7:30 p.m. (matinee-only shows are Sept. 22 & 29; the performance on Sept. 22 will be sign language interpreted).

WHERE: The Lyceum Theatre, 901 S. Forest Mall on the ASU campus in Tempe.

TICKETS: $14 adults, $12 seniors, faculty and staff; $5 students.


Originally a screenplay, the script “works on the stage without being adapted,” says Smith-Dawson, who was on the faculty in the department of theatre from 1998 to 2001. The script was a screenplay finalist at the 2001 Moondance Film Festival.

"‘Heat’" was pretty much ‘given’ to me through a dream,” Smith-Dawson says. “All of the images are dream images.”

Kindra Steenerson, the show’s director, says that directing “Heat” has been an exciting challenge for her.

“Because this play was taken from, and conceptualized as, a dream, the possibilities for experimentation are endless,” Steenerson says. “This is both a blessing and a curse. However, from the play's fluidity of locale, action and emotion to its seamless format, to the inclusion of multi-media support and the fact that the piece is written as a screenplay, it is a creative opportunity that defies conventional boundaries.

“The coming-of-age aspect comments on the never-ending circle of life,” she adds, “just as water is imperative to the nurturing and continuation of life, providing support for the earth, animals, and humans, the “blood” of mankind completes the cycle.”

Media Contact:
Megan Krause