Opportunities to Create/Direct

Each year the department invites its undergraduate and graduate students to create and direct performance events for the subsequent year's Performance Hour series. Students submit applications outlining their proposed projects, and the faculty selects the projects to be produced. Performance Hours are generally performed in either the Alvina Krause Studio or one of the black-box theaters in the Theatre & Interpretation Center. However, students have found or created other performance venues on campus.

Recent student-directed productions

The Sandman

Adapated and directed by Tyler Beattie, performed in the Struble Theater
A chamber musical adapted from the classic tale by the 19th-century German Romantic author E.T.A. Hoffmann, which tells the story of Nathanael, who at age eleven witnesses the bizarre murder of his father and continues to be haunted by the incident throughout his life. As one of the first stories to discuss specifically the subconscious in the development of a character, this strange coming of age story is groundbreaking in its contribution to the field of psychology. The musical adaptation explored how childhood incidents reside in the subconscious, and the ways in which this ever-present force violently shapes day-to-day experience.

Perhaps After Sunrise

Created and directed by Noelle Ghoussaini, performed in the Wallis Theater
The performance attempts to recreate the process of remembering, through dialogue and storytelling as well as West African and hip hop music and dance. It tells the story of a young woman who travels to Mali as an art student and has an accident that results in her having large gaps in her memory. “Perhaps After Sunrise” depicts the many facets of memory and how it is stored both consciously and subconsciously through our senses, stories, and dreams. The performance considers memory as fleeting and eternal, individual and collective, in a cross-cultural exploration of the beauty of Malian culture.


Directed and adapted by Jeremy Bloom, performed in the WAVE garage, behind 617 Noyes Street
The performers in this production take Wendy's famous window departure very seriously, the splendor and agony of having to go. The show is performed against the actual twilight, with actual fake flying. "Ought not to be written in ink but in a golden splash."


Created and directed by Jackie Intres, performed in the Wallis Theatre
In this original work, three separate dance pieces explore three of Shakespeare's greatest villains: Richard III, Lady Macbeth, and Iago. Using dance to analyze the shape and rhythms of each character's language, this performance explores how an individual is made “evil” through the movement of words. More than just a ballet of villains, this piece combines the words and motion of Shakespeare along with modern music and dance to delve into the deepest realms of the sinister and wicked.

A Room Embodied

Adapted and directed by Atley Loughridge, performed in Shanley Pavillion
"A Room Embodied" is based on the core text of Virginia Woolf's essay A Room of One's Own as well as on contemporary criticism. Straddling the 75 years since A Room of One's Own was published, the play explores Virginia Woolf's interaction with a narrator whom the real-life Virginia created. The play traces Virginia's childhood through her evolution as a woman and a writer in the context of her relationship with and eventual love for the character Mary. The production utilizes fanciful, movement-oriented images, as well as a constructed river in the performance space.

The Child of Sand

Adapted and directed by Georgette Kelly, performed in Crowe Plaza
Based on the novel L'enfant de sable by Tahar Ben Jelloun, “The Child of Sand” is set on the Djemma el-Fna plaza of Marrakech, Morocco, where halqa street performers gather an audience each evening. The storyteller brings us the story of Ahmed, eighth daughter of a Moroccan family, who is raised as a son to keep the family wealth intact. “The Child of Sand” celebrates the rich Moroccan tradition of storytelling, while exploring questions of gender and cultural identity.

"Re: No Laughing in the War Room: 'El Máximo' and the Performance of International Threat in 1959"

Adapted and directed by Sydney Howe, performed in the Alvina Krause Studio
Adapted from primary source texts, such as White House records and CIA memos, and employing video footage as well as clips from Dr. Strangelove, "Re: No Laughing in the War Room" explores Fidel Castro's relationship with the United States in 1959.

A Life of Wonder: Winifred Ward

Adapted and performed by Sophie Angelson; directed by Madeline Scheffler; performed in the Alvina Krause Studio
Drawing on letters, books, papers, plays, journals, and audio recordings, this one-woman performance portrays one woman's passion to bring imagination to every child. Winifred Ward was a professor at Northwestern between 1918 and 1950, during which time she also launched the drama programs in the Evanston public schools (programs that then spread throughout the country), and founded the Children's Theatre of Evanston.


Adapted and directed by Anakin Morris, performed in the Alvina Krause Studio
A chamber theatre story about a poor boy, a red spade, an Irish cop, a mysterious tramp, and the magic they find together, in hope. It is the tale of one young boy's unbreakable faith in goodness and his journey to inspire the people around him to change their community.