The world premiere of “The Lady Victory” opened Thursday night in MSU’s Auditorium Arena Theatre. The cast and crew are comprised of graduate and undergraduate students. Ann Folino White, assistant professor with MSU’s Department of Theatre and the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, adapted and directed this play based upon the poems of Jane Taylor.
“There were two big reasons that I chose to adapt the poems into a play,” White said. “The poems are very vivid in showing moments in life in a way that (can be portrayed on the stage well.) The second reason that I chose to adapt these poems was because it’s the story of young women who have been placed in maternity homes, which is a story … Not well known and yet it affected thousands and thousands of women.”
The play is based on poems following young women who are in a Catholic home for pregnant girls. The Catholic home is run by a few nuns such as Sister Sidney and Sister B. Their job is to maintain the home and nursery, taking care of the children and the young mothers.
Graduate student Carolyn Conover plays the role of Sister B in the play.
“My character is very torn between several worlds, her own world of who she is with her devotion to her faith and then her commitment to these girls and struggling with how the institution kind of views them as sinners,” Conover said.
For theatre senior Kate Busselle, this will be her last performance at MSU before graduation. Busselle plays one of the head Sisters in the play, Sister Sidney.
“The biggest thing that I’ve learned from this role, and from my research, is that the people come to work as nuns and to be nuns for various reasons,” Busselle said. “For Sidney, it’s not so much as a calling necessarily from God, it was more of her wanting to give back, and this is her way of giving back to society.”
The play means a lot to White, being that it is her first world-premiere show, White said.
“The play is a story that needs to be told, White said. “So many of these young girls were made to keep it a secret, what had happened to them, and I don’t think it should be.”