The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

A ‘female-awesome’ play

When you cross the department of theatre arts with three honors students, you get a play drenched in powerful emotions.

“Eleemosynary” tells the story of three intellectual women – a grandmother, a daughter and a granddaughter – all struggling with their relationships with one another.

When Dorothea has a stroke, it comes to the attention of her granddaughter, Echo and her daughter, Artie.

Senior Fay Vayner plays Dorothea, freshman Miriam Amr plays Echo and junior Allison Higgins plays Artie.

Vayner, a theatre arts major, has been involved in theater production all four years at Eastern. She is looking forward to her performance, but is also a little worried.

“I had my wisdom teeth taken out last (week), so my face is still in the healing process,” she said. “But, I’ve been working so hard that I’m just ready for the show to start.”

Amr is also excited about being on stage.

“I’m most looking forward to just portraying Echo,” she said. “She’s such an interesting person and it’s been a really fun challenge of getting into her mindset and sorting out all of her thoughts and feelings.”

Amr said that if Echo were a real person, she would try her hardest to get along with her. “She needs friends,” Amr said. “I might start to get annoyed with hearing about new words, but I think she would be a very interesting and educational friend.”

Vayner has a different viewpoint on her character.

“(Dorothea is) very eccentric, kind of crazy and basically (has her) own little drummer inside (her) head,” she said. “I think I would probably stand about 10 feet away from her and maybe listen to everything she has to say.”

Throughout the course of the play, the three women go through a series of flashbacks.

“Relationships change over time and can be difficult,” said John T. Oertling, chair of the theatre arts department. “It’s a memory play. There’s nothing in it that’s chronological, but they tell their stories.”

Oertling has been in theater for over 30 years and directed his first play when he was in high school.

The cast and crew have grown close throughout the six weeks it has taken to practice and put the play together, and like many close groups of people, have a few inside jokes.

“Aside from the director, everyone, including the stage manager, (is) female,” Vayner said. “So we say that this is the ‘female-awesome play.'”

Oertling said that there were many good things about working with the actresses in the play.

“You’re dealing with gifted, young talent and I’m able to bring that along and encourage them and get the best that I can out of them,” he said.

As for the bad part, Oertling could only think of one thing.

“One of the young ladies in the play is a senior, and this will probably be my last opportunity to work with her,” he said.

“Eleemosynary” will be at the Village Theatre tonight, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m., and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults and tickets for senior citizens, faculty and staff are $8.

    A ‘female-awesome’ play

    A female-awesome play

    Fay Vayner, a senior theater arts major, practices Wednesday evening in the Village Theatre for the production of “Eleemosynary.” Vayner plays Dorothea, the eldest of the intellectual women in the performance. Robbie Wroblewski/On the Verge


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