Written by Beth Hyland
Directed by Emma Miller
Produced by The Hearth
Nominations: Outstanding Director, Emma Miller; Outstanding Choreography/Movement, Lucia Knell
About the Company: The Hearth's mission to tell the stories of women by developing and producing plays that represent the complex and vast spectrum of womanhood. We nurture and celebrate female and non-binary artists.
About the Production: Annie Lambert was murdered in the middle of her senior year. So her sisters of the Beta Tau Alpha sorority at SUNY Onondaga are memorializing her in the best way they know how: They're putting on a play. For Annie uses Greek chorus, pop music, dance, and a lot of glitter to explore grief, guilt, sisterhood, and what it means to remember.
Director Emma Miller and Producer Julia Greer share their thoughts on mounting The Hearth's inaugural production.
What first attracted you to For Annie?
Emma: The first time I read For Annie, I was struck by the way it explores grief and by its depiction of what loss does to a community, to memory, and to friendships. It tackles such an important topic deftly and with so much dignity. It's about girlhood, family, and how we move on when the unthinkable happens.
Julia: We felt that Beth Hyland so beautifully captured the complexity of sisterhood and wrote exciting and dynamic female characters. It felt like an important story that was wonderfully told, and we couldn't wait to bring it to life.
What was your favorite part of working on this production?
Emma: The cast and crew! Making For Annie was collaborative, messy, and fun, and the people who acted in and worked on it are some of my all-time favorites.
Julia: The ensemble of people working on this piece was truly remarkable. They worked tirelessly to make it happen and do justice to the story. Working with them was the best part.
What was the most challenging part of working on this production?
Emma: It's a cast of 11 people and the show has a lot of moving parts, so finding ways to bring it all together was challenging. Ultimately, I think that's a large part of what made the process so rewarding.
Julia: It's hard to do big plays on small budgets!
What did you want the audience to walk away with after watching For Annie?
Julia: We hoped people would come away from our production thinking about how complicated young womanhood is and questioning what they believed about blame, loss, and the way we grieve.
What will you take away from your experience working on For Annie?
Emma: For Annie was the inaugural production of The Hearth, the company I co-founded with Julia Greer, so getting to direct something through my own company was very meaningful.
What was it like working with Emma and Lucia?
Julia: Emma Miller has a unique ability to lead confidently and take the best idea in the room. She has an unbelievable vision and cares for each and every person in the room. Lucia Knell was an awesome collaborator, had such fun ideas, and made all the non-dancers in the room excited about and comfortable with dancing.
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