Doudna hosts world premiere of radio play

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Tyanna Daniels

Lucy Hill, a senior vocal performance major, plays as Maxine’s Grandma on Dec. 3 in “Love, Garland, Bows, and Tinsel: A Holiday Radio Romance,” a play written by Hannah Killough, a senior theater arts major. This play talks about a queer couple’s holiday romance without tragedy. Killough had been writing the play since May.

Katja Benz, Campus Reporter

“Love, Garland, Bows, and Tinsel: A Holiday Radio Romance,” Eastern’s biannual radio play debuted this weekend in the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

The play, which was being recorded for radio, did not include a set. The cast sat in chairs, then stood up when it was their turn to act.

While the event was structured like a cliche holiday movie, it was centered around LGBT+ characters instead of heterosexual ones.

Hannah Killough, senior theater major and writer of the play, said that was a purposeful decision.

“I chose to write this play because as someone in the LGBTQIA+ community, I wanted to write a story that the community can relate to,” said Killough. “There’s a lot of heterosexual romance movies and plays centered around the holidays but there are very few queer holiday romances. These stories need to be seen, heard, and normalized. There are aspects in this play that aren’t common either. In example, there’s no tragedy that the two must overcome because they are queer, they just simply love who they love and live a normal life. That’s rarely seen in queer media. The play isn’t about them being lesbians, it’s about finding someone you love and want to spend time with. Isn’t that something most of us want?”

Throughout the play the main character, Charlotte, tries to determine if she should get back together with her ex-girlfriend or if she should pursue a relationship with a girl at the college she goes to. Charlotte ends up doing the latter.

Charlotte is able to fall in love during the holiday season.

Christiana Harkulich, theater professor and director of the play, says that is important.

“This is a story that allows queer characters to just fall in love when jingle bells are in the air and the snow is falling,” said Harkulich. “Everyone deserves the chance to fall in love, and I hope that audiences will enjoy this story of catching feelings and getting over an ex between Halloween and New Year’s Eve. We wanted to capture that special sparkle of the holiday season.”

Mark Codo, a senior video production and audio recording technology major, said he enjoyed being in the audience for the play.

“I thought the show was actually pretty good,” said Codo. “At first, I didn’t know what to expect. But since this is basically a capstone project for one of the theater students, I might as well check it out. Watching the play, it was really good as it really tackles the themes of the LGBTQ, particularly with the main lead.”

Naomi Wright-Allen, a freshman pre-nursing major, also enjoyed the show.

“It was super cute and I loved it,” said Wright-Allen. “It was like a nice holiday Hallmark show.”

This play was written like a Hallmark movie, according to Harkulich. During the holiday season, friends may watch these types of movies together.

That is what Wright-Allen did with some of her friends, including Olivia Omundson, a freshman psychology major.

“I like this one because it’s a happy ending,” said Omundson. “And I’m a sucker for happy endings.”

Even though finals are coming up and many students are stressed, Killough hopes people have a more open heart after seeing the show.

“I hope the audience leaves this play feeling happy and with warm holiday fuzzies,” said Killough. “I also hope that anyone who enters this play and doesn’t fully support the LGBTQIA+ community walks out of the theatre more understanding and with an open heart.”

Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]