The curtain will rise on JSU’s mainstage theatre season this weekend, when the Department of Theatre and Film presents Alison’s House. The 1930 Pulitzer Prize winner was inspired by the life of famed poet Emily Dickinson, but fictionalized, since her estate did not grant permission for her name to be used. But that did not stop female playwright Susan Glaspell, as she tells the story of the Stanhope family, including their sister and aunt, Alison, who, though dead for eighteen years, lives on through her powerful impact as a poet and person. In 1931, Glaspell became the second woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Dr. Martija Reiff, assistant professor of English, is serving as dramaturg for this production, and she pointed out that Glaspell is famous today mainly for her feminist-infused works, with her most famous being Trifles, a play about an abused woman who murders her husband.
“The need for societal change is symbolized through the dawn of the new century (the play takes place on New Year’s Eve of 1899) and through the sale of the titular house,” stated Reiff. “Alison’s House is a play that explores how women can live their most authentic lives artistically, emotionally, and romantically.”
JSU’s production is directed by Mike Long. The cast includes Emily Copeland, Nikki Walker, Christian Watts, Murchison Murray, Semaje Newton, Jake Lewis, Logan Chance, Carley Carey, Megan Brightwell, Sean Godfrey, and Bridgett Rayburn. The show runs Nov. 11-14 at Stone Center. Tickets are available online.