Decisions and Departures

A photo taken during the production of "Decisions" shows two student actresses sitting back-to-back on a dimly lit stage.

Photo by David Brooks Andrews

Director of Theatre Nora Hussey had planned to stage A Midsummer Night’s Dream as her last student production before retiring this spring. Then the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., happened—and a comedy no longer seemed appropriate. Instead, Hussey worked with Wellesley student actors and co-director and co-creator Lois Roach to mount an original one-act play, Decisions. The ensemble production addressed questions that preoccupy young people about to launch themselves into a challenging world: What makes me who I am? Who is my family? Am I seen? Am I understood? The play took on serious issues of depression, homophobia, ethnic discrimination, and sexual violence. As one character says, “Now more than ever, each story should be told.” It also took some gentle satirical pokes at Wellesley academic pressure. (“I’m lost in an abyss of workload.”)

Reminiscent of Our Town in its staging, the play incorporated dance and song as each character spoke of her life, discovering in the course of the journey, “I can make my own decisions.” Hussey wrote in the play’s program that in the wake of her own decision to retire, “This production is dedicated to the many wonderful and talented souls [I have] worked with in the last glorious 28 years. Onward!”

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