Texas Woman’s University’s 2023-2024 theater program will be hosting four productions this academic year and, for the first time in over a decade, a student will be directing one of the plays.
The Theater department will produce four plays this year, “The Affected Young Ladies,” “Recommended Reading for Girls,” “Hamlet” and “Eurydice.”
“The Affected Young Ladies” will be the opening play for this season and will be directed by third-year theater graduate student LeeAnn Ducker. It is a comedic play that was adapted from Moliere’s 1659 original version and follows the lives of two young girls who tackle the struggles of fame and city life in the early 2000s.
“This is my first time directing a full production,” Ducker said. “I’ve directed a couple of staged readings for a new play festival before and I’ve directed scenes for classwork. But this is [the] first full production that I’m directing.”
Associate professor of theater Noah Lelek will direct the 2003 play, “Eurydice,” by Sarah Ruhl. The play follows the life of Greek mythological character Eurydice as he is torn between either returning to earth or remaining in the underworld with his father.
“This is a modern day adaptation,” Lelek said. “It’s not supposed to be classical. You’ll see in the costumes’ different time periods that [they] are not contemporary, but sort of since the 1940s up until today. And then there’s fantastical elements as well that go along with that.”
Ducker said that one of the aspects that she has struggled with while directing “The Affected Young Ladies” is being kind to herself because this is her first full production. Furthermore, she also struggled with the blocking aspect of the play, which is instructing the actors where to go when they are on stage.
“I have to completely re-block the scene because the way I blocked it, none of the audience would be able to see most of what was happening,” Ducker said. “But whenever we actually did go back and re-block the scene, I ultimately [felt] much stronger with the changes that we did make. I’m just glad that I caught onto the problem sooner rather than later.”
Lelek said that, after watching his play, he hopes that audiences feel like they can relate to “Eurydice” and hopes that it will help them reflect on their own personal experiences.
“Theater is connected to human experience,” Lelek said. “I think everyone in the audience probably has experienced something in the play. This world is more like an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ world once she goes down to Hades. I think part of it is movement, the chorus [and] the design elements as well that goes along with that.”
Clarise Tujardon can be reached via email at email@example.com.