October 7-17

by LILLIAN HELLMAN

directed by JESS DE LA ROSA

Preview

Thurs October 7

Opening

Fri October 8

Closing

Sun October 17

About the Show

Hellman’s story was penned in 1934, but thematically resonates (albeit unfortunately) with a modern audience. We follow the story of two headmistresses at an all-girls boarding school, as their lives, character, and careers are called into question by a group of clever-minded young schoolchildren. 

CONTENT WARNING

Bullying; Mature Language and Themes; Self-harm and suicide; Homophobia/Heterosexism.

RECOMMENDED AUDIENCE AGE

We trust our audiences to make decisions about attending our plays, but we recommend ages and 12 and up for this production.

Director's Note

A letter to all those who have loved before:

 

I challenged myself to write a note to you all without a single mention of the current state of things. I stared at a blank white space with a blinking cursor- and thought to myself, “How in the world am I supposed to surmise this process, this play, these young people and the magic they make without acknowledging the seemingly insurmountable odds against them?” Blink…blink…blink… 

 

But then, the truth is, to give this task the credit and justice it deserves, I have to say the hard things. Because otherwise, you might not get the full gravity of what these actors and this design team and our stage management team have accomplished. We did not make this in a vacuum, and you are not witnessing it devoid of all the things you had to walk through just to show up into these socially distanced seats, and likely in a mask. There is no value in denying or hiding…we learn nothing in the silence. 

 

So let’s just be clear and direct: things are hard, confusing, scary, upside down…you name it. We’ve probably felt it, either singly or collectively. So. There’s that. 

 

And yet, here we are. Even in the hardness. Even in the times where we are all well within our rights to say, “Enough.” You are here, reading these words, presumably because you still have a hope or desire for something to spark joy or life or community. Or maybe you’re supporting a young artist… or maybe you stumbled in here serendipitously. Whatever got you *here,* you are welcome. 

 

So we don’t ask you to come into the theatre to forget all the everything that is gunking up your atmosphere- but rather to bring it into this magical o, and offer it up as a sacrifice. Entertain new thoughts in a new world, and see if you can let the rest of it dissipate into nothingness. 

 

I think that had our heroines been given the space and support to exorcise all this everything- perhaps the story would have been different. You are welcome here. We want you to stay here. Wherever that here is: we hope it brings you love. 

Or if all that talk seems too woo-woo barefoot theatre lady in a black turtleneck and flowy wrap-skirt, perhaps you can just spend a couple of hours watching this immaculate team bring to life a story that will keep you occupied for the evening. That’s ok, too. 

 

If the themes and questions of this play inspire further discussion or present a need for additional research, I encourage you to check out the resources listed below.  

 

Thanks for spending your time with us, 

Jess

The Cast

Addison is from Louisville, Kentucky. She loves acting and singing, and has been at Walden Theatre for 3 years. She thanks her mother, father, and sister, who are her biggest supporters.

Bryce has been with Commonwealth for 10 years and is now a senior. He also goes to duPont Manual/YPAS for Musical Theatre. Favorite Credits Include: Spelling Bee (Coneybear), Much Ado About Nothing (Dogberry), and Spelling Bee (Barfée) at YPAS. Bryce would like to thank all of his family and friends for their support in his last year of high school!

Hazel Payne-Young  is from the Boston area and has been at Walden since 2016. Hazel’s stage credits include The Trojan Women. When this Atherton freshman isn’t on stage she spends her time reading, tending her house plants, and drawing. Big thanks to her grandmother who has been her main benefactor and a big cheerleader of her theatrical endeavors.

Meg has been a teaching artist with Walden Theatre’s Education Outreach programming since 2012. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and the M.A. in Communications and Theatre from Morehead State University. At Morehead, she worked as both the box office manager and the tour manager for their children’s theatre troupe “The Little Company.” She moved to Louisville in 2007 where she worked as a teaching artist and tour actor for Kentucky Shakespeare. Meg has performed with several local theatre companies as well as working special events at the Louisville Zoo. She is a proud alumna of the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) and worked for the program every summer from 1999-2016.

Rose is from Louisville and this is her first play ever!!! When not on stage you can see her drawing, playing piano, oboe, and the ukulele. She wants to thank her Dad and Atticus Haden’s parents for making this possible! 

Anya Cullen was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and has a passion for acting. They’ve been doing theatre since 3rd grade and wants to continue through high school. She’s a freshman at Ballard, and their favorite class is Japanese! When not in the theatre, Anya is either at home playing video games and enjoying their alone time, or hanging out with friends! They also really enjoy traveling and can’t wait to be in this production!

Charlotte is more than excited to be returning to the stage this fall! She’s a sophomore at the J. Graham Brown School entering her 4th year with CTC. Recent credits include Hamlet(Bernardo/Player Queen) and Pride and Prejudice(Anne de Bourgh). When not performing, you can find her purchasing stationery, making music, and matchmaking for her two very handsome cats.

Ian is extremely thrilled to act in this show. Their favorite performances are (but not limited to) Hamlet (Rosencrantz), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Polonius), and The Winter’s Tale (Clown). Ian also enjoys swimming competitively, participating in model United Nation, feeding their ego, and listening to Phoebe Bridgers. (You should too!) Ian gives thanks to his twin Alexander, for always giving him someone to compete against.

Natalie is a senior at Assumption High School and in her 11th year with the company. She has appeared in Hamlet, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, She Kills Monsters, The Winter’s Tale, Young Playwrights Festival 2019 (performer and Assistant Stage Manager), The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry VI Part 3, The Snow Queen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Baker Goes to War, Dorina and the Plague, 1001 Nights, and various showcase performances. Additional CTC credits include Young Playwrights Festival 2020 (Stage Manager) and Young Playwrights Festival 2021 (Director). Other credits include: Julius Caesar, Alice, and The Snow at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Michigan; The St. Francis Drama Project’s Anything Goes, Anne Frank and Me, The Importance of Being Earnest (Director’s Assistant), The Birds, and You Can’t Beat the House (for which she won a National Youth Arts Award for Outstanding Supporting Performance, Junior Division); The Sound of Music with Sacred Heart Academy; The King & I and Mary Poppins with Assumption; several shows at Sacred Heart School for the Arts; and The New York Pops Birthday Galas in 2016, 2017, and 2018 at Carnegie Hall.

Sophia is delighted to be in another play at CTC. Favorite credits include The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Maxine), Hamlet (Voltemond, priest), and Urning It (Charlie). When not acting, Sophia can be found drawing, studying languages, or spending time with her family.

is from Louisville, Kentucky and is going into their 6th year at commonwealth theatre centre and so excited about this opportunity. Favorite credits include Globe player’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (Egeus), Comedy of Errors (Egeon), Top Girls (Kit), and Trojan Women (young woman). They dedicate their performance to the inspiration of their dogs: Fred, Daphne, and Max.

Chloe is a junior at the Brown School and is going into her 8th year at Commonwealth Theatre Center. She is a huge Fiona Apple fan, and her most streamed song right now is Anything We Want. Her favorite productions include (but are not limited to) The Comedy of Errors as well as Pride and Prejudice. She dedicates this performance to her dog, Lenny Fitch.

Leah is a senior at Atherton High School in her 6th year with the program. Her favorite credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Leonato), Pride and Prejudice (Catherine de Bourgh), and Top Girls (Gret/Angie). Outside of Commonwealth Theatre Center, she has appeared in multiple productions with her school and with Kentucky Shakespeare Globe Players.

Nyx Alistair, an 8th grade student and performer living in Louisville, KY. Their recent musical theatre credits include featured roles in Honk! Jr(Bullfrog), Mary Poppins Jr(Michael Banks), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee(Chorus of Spellers), and Beauty and the Beast(Chip). Other credits include productions with Commonwealth Theatre Center’s Walden Conservatory including The Secret Garden(Ben), James and the Giant Peach(Centipede) ,The Young Playwrights Festival, and Showcase performances of The Tempest(Iris), Midsummer’s Night’s Dream(Cobweb/Starveling), and Romeo and Juliet(Friar/Prince Escalus). When he’s not performing you can find them making art or sarcastic comments.

Sophia is so grateful to be returning to in-person theatre. She is a Junior at Atherton High School and this is her 4th year at CTC. One of her favorite things to do is watch her dog zoom around, and outside of CTC she is a part of Louisville Girls Leadership, KDE’s Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council, and tutors with Educational Justice.

CREATIVE Team

Jess holds a BA in Theatre and an MFA in Acting, both from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. In the Summer of 2018, Louisville became Jess’ home after living in New York City, where she developed a studio practice in devising Shakespeare – coaching a range of ages from preschool students to Broadway performers. As an actor, regional theatre credits include Great River Shakespeare Festival, Chautauqua Theater Company, Clarence Brown Theatre, Reign Or Shine, Rogue and Peasant Players, and Kentucky Shakespeare, among others. As an educator and behavioral therapist, Jess has taught all ages and abilities, using art as a bridge to unite neurodiverse demographics.

Gerry is a Louisville native, working in the entertainment industry since 1995. He has loved being part of the Commonwealth family for the last four years. Gerry has worked with such groups as Ursuline Arts Center, Bunbury Theatre, Stephen Foster Drama Association, Faith Works Studio, Woodford County Theatrical Arts Association, Louisville Central Community Center, Centerstage as well as Dick Clark Productions and ABC. Gerry would like to thank his wife Angel for putting up with this crazy theatre life.

This is their 5th show at CTC, and they’ve been at CTC for eight years. Lu’s favorite play is Macbeth, and they go to the J. Graham Brown School.

A native of southwestern Indiana, Jake Allen Miller is a theatre technician, stage manager, arts educator and a 2008 graduate of Hanover College. Prior to joining CTC in 2019, Jake lived and worked professionally in Chicago, Illinois most notably as Stage Manager in Residence at The Second City. Jake is most inspired by the art of professional wrestling, the music of the Grateful Dead, and the boundless talents of his friends and colleagues.

Hannah is a local theatrical artist who has been active in the theatre scene for the last four years, working with companies including Bunbury Theatre Company, The Kentucky Opera, and most recently Looking for Lilith. They joined the CTC family in March of this year and are thrilled to be working on The Children’s Hour. When Hannah isn’t working on theatre you can usually catch them drawing or making stickers! Thanks to Colt, who has supported them through all their artistic endeavors.

Lindsay is excited to begin her sixth season at Commonwealth Theatre. Starting in Halloween costume design, she moved to theatrical work at Actors Theatre of Louisville as the Assistant Costume Designer ten years ago. She has worked with several local companies including Pandora Productions, Theatre 502, Liminal Playhouse, Bellarmine University, Hardin County Performing Arts Center, Josephine Sculpture Park Summer Shakespeare and is an active company member with Looking for Lilith Theatre Company.

Atticus is very excited to be stage managing his first show! He is a sophomore at DuPont Manual High School, and recent credits at CTC include YPF 2021 and She Kills Monsters. He would like to thank Jess, for thinking of him when casting, and his parents, who drove him to and from every rehearsal.

Resources
Anti-Bullying
LGBTQIA

LGBTQ+ HOTLINES

The Trevor Project  1-866-488-7386
LGBT Hotline  888-843-4564
LGBT Youth Talkline  800-246-7743
Trans Lifeline  877-565-8860

SUICIDE

1-800-273-8255

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