Senior Hannah Coleman has always had a love of theater, and this year she hopes to share her passion with Hamline’s production of Iphigenia and Other Daughters.
The play will be performed by the Hamline Theater Department as part of their fall 2019 season. Coleman, who also chose Iphigenia and Other Daughters as her senior project, is directing the show.
Coleman looked through a number of different plays, many of which she described as “bad” before landing on her final choice.
“I thought this piece would be a good way to stretch our department and our actors in a way they haven’t been stretched before,” Coleman said.
Iphigenia and Other Daughters, written by Ellen McLaughlin, is a retelling of an ancient Greek play written by Euripides. Unlike the play it is based on, Iphigenia and Other Daughters focuses on the women of the story.
“It really is about the women of the original mythos,” Coleman said, adding that the play seeks to answer the question: “In a world where men drive the stories, what are the women doing?”
The prioritization of the women’s roles in a story that normally focuses on men is one of the reasons Coleman picked it. But, despite the play’s focus on the women in the story, Coleman says that topics the play touches on can be relevant to people of any gender identity.
“The themes of the play are for everyone,” Coleman said.
Coleman described the play as examining the feeling of being trapped, something that nearly anyone can relate to.
“It’s really about being stuck, being trapped in your own fate,” she said.
In the process of directing, Coleman has been focused on a collaborative approach, putting her energy into helping others do their best work.
“I feel like my job is to facilitate the work of others,” Coleman said.
Coleman has directed a number of plays before, the first taking place while she was still in high school. Since then she has had the opportunity to direct twice at Hamline, for the 2017 and 2018 On the Lawn performances.
Iphigenia and Other Daughters is something that she’s been working towards for a long time, and it has not been without its challenges.
“It’s a really hard play,” Coleman said. “Some of the challenges have just been figuring out what the play is for us.”
But Coleman is excited to share the hard work that her cast and crew have put into the play, and to share her love of theater with the community.
“This is truly a work of our peers,” Coleman said. “It’s a piece that’s meant to be seen.”
Iphigenia and Other Daughters will be performed Nov. 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 in the Anne Simley Theater at 7 p.m. Tickets for Hamline students are $2, and can be purchased in advance or the night of the performance.