The Project: Director, “Eleemosynary”
The Scholar: Nina Renkert ’20
About the Play: For my Williston Scholars project, I directed the full-length play “Eleemosynary” by Lee Blessing. “Eleemosynary,” which means charity, blends the complexities of familial relationships with the underlying question of whether blood is thicker than water. It tells the story of three generations of women: a daughter, her mother, and her grandmother. When life’s unforeseen pressures test these women to the limit, they are forced to reconcile with their pasts to reconnect at a human level. The play itself explores how certain underlying emotions push people to make crucial decisions, no matter how heartbreaking or eccentric they can be.
What I Studied: To prepare I really had to dive into the text, exploring the possible design and objectives of the characters. I also had to keep close contact with my whole artistic team of collaborators, including my actors in and out of rehearsals to make sure everyone was on the same page. I loved all these jobs and the tasks that they asked of me, including the times that I struggled because they helped form me into the artist I am today.
What Surprised me about the Work I Did: How amazing it was to see what was in my head onstage. The best part about that was helping my actors to bring out the characters I saw while reading the book, but also seeing what they brought to them as well. I loved seeing them grow and mature, and I am so excited for more.