Play examines the drive to explore

Beginning on  Feb. 15, Stevenson University will present the original theatrical performance of “Small Breezes” on the Greenspring campus starting at 7 p.m.

The play adapts symbols from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” with a cast that has been working together for two months. “Small Breezes” is an original theatre piece directed by Deirdre McAllister, and it is her first production at Stevenson as a director. She started teaching and acting at Stevenson last spring in addition to teaching theatre classes at Towson University.

The theme for this year’s theatre programming at Stevenson is “other worlds,” and McAllister had the idea for a play that explores the desire for adventure through space and time and investigates the lives of different women explorers throughout history.

After research of 10 trail-blazing women, the figures were narrowed down to six. Small Breezes follows the lives of Amelia Earhart, an American aviation pioneer and the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean; Isabelle Eberhardt, a Swiss explorer and writer; Bessie Coleman, the first woman of African-American and Native American descent to hold a pilot license; Alexandra David-Neel, a Belgian-French explorer who was known for her 1924 visit to Tibet when it was forbidden to foreigners; Mae Jemison, an American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut; and Sylvia Earle, an American marine biologist, explorer, and author.

The actors playing each explorer began their research after auditioning in November, and started rehearsals in December. They have selected moments from the lives of each woman, relying on newspaper articles, personal journals, interviews and speeches. The play connects with the audience through a non-linear presentation, an experimental piece presenting the public and private lives of women pioneers though songs, dancing, and puppets from the 1860s to present day.

“Small Breezes” can be seen on six different dates. There are showings every day from Feb. 15-17 and the following weekend from Feb. 22-24. Admission is $10, while students and seniors cost $5.

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