Student Spotlight

by Alexis Hartranft on March 14, 2022

During her time at Roanoke College, Tess has conducted research in several departments on campus and presented her research at multiple conferences. This semester, Tess worked on a project for the Theatre department. She was the dramaturg Roanoke College’s production of The Children’s Hour (Feb 24-26 2022). The play is about two schoolteachers, Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, who run a boarding school for girls in the 1930s. They get accused of having an affair by one of their students and the play follows their downfall and life after the accusation. Tess performed all the historical significance research behind the play from the nuances in the script to women’s education to life in 1930s Connecticut. She took an artistic approach to display her research in designing a costume to convey the biography of the playwright, and a 6’ wardrobe that contains Joseph Cornell boxes relating to all the areas of research she performed. Tess says the most rewarding part of the process was articulating why a 1930s piece still resonates with audiences today. Tess won the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) Kennedy Center fellowship for the region for her lobby displays and will be competing in Nationals in April. Fantastic work!

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