Theatre 305: Writing Women's Lives
For the last few months, the staff at the WLA has had the immense pleasure of working with the students in Professor Ann Shanahan's Theatre 305 course on their final projects. On May 1st, the students performed their final projects in front of an audience of family and friends on the first floor of Piper Hall.
The performance was broken up into two acts; Act 1: Embodying the Archives featured seven pieces inspired by or based on collections of institutional records and personal papers here at the WLA. Students drew upon the papers and records of Helena Znaniecka Lopata, Mercedes McCambridge, Anna Stonum, and SisterSerpents for inspiration. The institutional records of Mundelein College were also used by some of the students with pieces that drew upon the Mundelein College Photograph Collection, records of the University's founding, and the strike during the Vietnam War.
Act 2: Performing Her Story, showcased the creations of four students which were inspired by the speeches of Sojourner Truth, the scholarly writings of Sue Ellen Case, and the lives of Fannie Lou Hammer and Marie Gouges. The second act also included the entire class performing monologues they had written on the theme of Health and Fitness.
A student reads a part in "Helena's Letter," by Kimberly Kueny, which was inspired by the lives of Helena Znaniecka Lopata and her mother, Eileen.
Students perform "A College Divided," by Amy Heller, inspired by the oral history interviews of David Orr, Sister Joan Frances Crowley, and Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt about the Mundelein College strike against the Vietnam War in 1970.