Blog Archive - February 2014

Leah Adcock-Starr

Leah Adcock-Starr was raised on stories.

“I am the daughter of a teacher and a preacher, both theatre makers themselves; and I’m from the mid-west, where stories are the currency and glue of a community,” explains the MFA directing student. “Love of and need for story is programmed into my DNA.”

Now, on the eve of her first full main stage production at the School of Drama, Leah talks with us about the stories stuck in her head and how she’s bringing them to the stage.


Why did you propose The Arabian Nights for your first full main stage production?

The short answer is politics and religion. [The playwright] Mary Zimmerman takes on epic and mythic stories and makes them happen on stage, in theatrical, inventive, and beautiful ways. I find that inspiring and challenging. She wrote The Arabian Nights in response to the First Gulf War. I’d call The Arabian Nights an anti-war play, even though it doesn’t look like...

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Director Rachel Perlot with actor Michael Monicatti.

by Rachel Perlot

The summer before I headed off to college, a good friend of mine sent me a text. “Hey, my aunt’s doing a reading downtown this afternoon. Wanna come?” Her aunt is an Obie-winning playwright, so I really couldn’t pass up the opportunity. We headed to a small bookstore in our hometown, and listened to Erin Courtney read the first and last scene of her newest play, A Map of Virtue. It was…well, unusual. I bought the script, shook her hand, and went home, without thinking much more about it.

Fast forward to spring of my freshman year at UW. The Undergraduate Theater Society (UTS) had just released its directing applications for the following year. I knew I wanted to apply; I just needed to choose a show. Much to my unease, every time I thought about the application, there was a nagging voice in my head. Apply with A Map of Virtue, it whispered, and every time I cast the thought aside. It’s too weird a...

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Javonna Arriago

Welcome to the first installment of our Unique Trajectories series.  This ongoing series will introduce you to our alums who have taken the skills and techniques mastered while at the School of Drama and applied them to their chosen career paths in unique and unexpected ways.  These alums epitomize the entrepreneurial spirit of our graduates and highlight the versatility and strength that theatre training can offer.

If you would like to share the story of an alum that might be featured here, please let us know.

“My life will be devoted to making sure that we tell our stories, and that other people’s stories are told, in a way that can help change the future of the people who experience injustices,” wrote Javonna Arriaga, BA 2013, in a paper for Professor Zane Jones. Through her classes at UW School of Drama, Javonna...

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