Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students


“The Woman in Black”

Look out! Here comes the next theatre update!Every semester, Jesters Club puts on a play that is separate from the ones directed by the university faculty (commonly called "mainstage shows"). This year, they are tackling something unlike any show Jesters has ever done before: "The Woman in Black." You may be familiar with the movie of the same title, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds, and Liz White. I think the play actually came first, originally published in 1987. The first movie came out two years later, and the newest movie was released in 2012.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the story, here's a quick summary of the movie I found on

"A widowed lawyer travels to a secluded village on an important assignment, and encounters a vengeful ghost with mysterious motives. After losing his beloved wife in childbirth, young barrister Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) was nearly consumed by grief. A haunted widower father, he raises his young son with the help of his devoted nanny. Arthur is on the verge of losing his job when an important client of the firm dies, and his boss offers him one last opportunity to prove his worth by settling the woman's affairs. Determined to succeed, Arthur travels to the remote village and receives a chilly welcome. Something horrible once happened here, and it seems that the locals are determined to ensure Arthur never finds out what it was. Now, the more time Arthur spends in his client's crumbling estate, the more aware he becomes of a presence that isn't quite human. In this house dwells a woman's ghost. In life she lost something precious, and now in death she'll do whatever it takes to get it back. Until she does, her spectral presence will serve as a harbinger of doom, always to be followed by the death of an innocent."

The director of "Woman in Black," senior Maggie Hunter!

The director of "Woman in Black," senior Maggie Hunter!

Okay. I'll be honest and admit that I am terrified of watching scary movies and, consequently, will have to keep my involvment in this particular play to a minimum. There are many people who are very excited for this show, though, and I can understand why! William Woods has never hosted a play that could be classified as any sort of "scary," so this will give the students a chance to try new techniques that will be entirely different than anything we have ever done before. The other cool thing about this production is that, because it is a Jesters production, it is entirely student-produced. That is, students will not only get to act in the show, but they will direct it, design it, and work all the various technical positions during the performance. Due to its supernatural characteristics, this show will rely more heavily on technical aspects than most shows, so it will give many of the students a chance to gain valuable experience backstage.

(left to right) Students Laura Liebhart, Grace Gratton, and Jen Steindorf share a script at the first read-through.

(left to right) Students Laura Liebhart, Grace Gratton, and Jen Steindorf share a script at the first read-through.

The director (senior Maggie Hunter) and assistant director/stage manager (junior T.J. Green) held auditions on January 27th and jumped immediately into rehearsals the very next day. They will devote a few hours each day Monday-Thursday for the next several weeks as they prepare for their performances. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend! The performance dates are March 13, 14, and 15 at 7:30 pm in Dulany Auditorium here on campus. I haven't heard the official ticket price yet, but generally the tickets for Jesters shows are only $3 apiece and can be purchased at the door.

I've heard lots of positive things about auditions and the few rehearsals they have had so far, so I am definitely excited to see how this particular production shapes up! I think it's going to provide some wonderful opportunities and new experiences for everyone - the actors, the crew, and the audience alike!

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