On March 4, Karin Coonrod gave a lecture entitled, “Hound Dog on a Scent: Flannery O’Connor’s Words in the Theatre Space” as part of the Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA) Distinguished Lecture Series. Coonrod spoke about her experience adapting and directing O’Connor’s short story “Everything Rises Must Converge” for the stage and illustrated her comments with video clips from a 2009 production of the play in Rome. After the lecture, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about the challenges Coonrod faced in translating O’Connor’s work for theatre as well as explore the theological and aesthetic implications made possible by a different medium.
Coonrod is an internationally recognized theater artist whose work has been lauded by The New York Times as “prodigiously inventive.” She is also a member of the faculty at the Yale School of Drama, where she is a lecturer in directing. Coonrod has directed numerous productions at the American Repertory Theatre, the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, New York University, and the New York Theatre Workshop.
In 1998, Coonrod began working on an adaptation of three stories from O’Connor’s Everything that Rises Must Converge, which culminated in a sold-out Off-Broadway production in 2001. In April of 2014, Coonrod directed a production of O’Connor’s short story “Everything Rises Must Converge” that toured Washington, D.C., Atlanta, New Brunswick, and New York City. She is preparing for another tour in the spring of 2016.