Gender-bending fable set for Yulman Theater

Publication Date
Act A Lady Poster

“Act a Lady,” a two-act play within a play that explores gender roles and identity against a 1920s Midwestern small town backdrop, takes to the stage in Yulman Theater with four performances, May 19-21 at 7:30 p.m. and May 22 at 2 p.m.

Union staff, faculty and administrators, as well as non-Union guests, are invited to attend the opening night and after-performance reception free, courtesy of the Theater and Dance Department and the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. Registration is strongly encouraged.

The play, by Brooklyn-based Jordan Harrison, looks at what happens when the men in mythical Prohibition-era Wattleburg, Ohio, dress in drag for a charity show that is set during the French Revolution era.

“The subtitle is ‘An Exuberant Midwestern Fable’ and I think that’s on point,” says Randy Wyatt, director and department chair.

“The actors wind up encountering their own characters and chaos ensues, so it’s a comedy for sure. But every actor in the play also plays a differently gendered character at one point or another, and lines between genders blur. I think that’s been one of the most exciting dynamics for the students to explore.”

The production becomes much more demanding than the townsmen bargained for, Wyatt said.

“As they rehearse, their characters take on lives of their own, and the actors discover new sides of themselves they never saw before.”

The ensemble includes Haley Gatley '25, Madison Holley ’22, Matthew Parr ’25, Unglid Paul ’22, David (Trip) Sherwood ’23 and Mia Villeneuve ’22. Chloe Savitch ’22 completes her senior thesis as stage manager.

Department faculty working on the show include Brittney Belz on costumes, Robin McDuffie on props, and Drew Bodd contributing technical direction and lighting design, with guest Luke Krauss on sound design.

Guest set designer Robert Broadfoot of Los Angeles, a longtime collaborator with Wyatt, also joined the production staff. Broadfoot recently has worked for Marvel projects and the TV show, “This is Us.”

For those not attending the free opening night, tickets are $15 general admission and $5 for senior citizens and those with a Union ID. They can be purchased here.

For more information or accommodative seating arrangements, contact the Yulman Theater Box Office at, or call (518) 388-6545.