About what the Gods gave me


Moon magic, man eaters, and matrimony; the women of Nevermoore Inn are preparing for the first night of the rest of their lives, but their carefully crafted mythos is about to catch fire. Written by OU’s own Eryn Elyse McVay, what the Gods gave me is a story about the magic of the family and the power of the individual.


Maine - Inland



Land Acknowledgement

We, The School Of Theater, acknowledge that, from the time of Ohio University’s founding in 1804, it has occupied the traditional homelands of the Shawnee people, as well as the Wahzhazhe (who are also known as the Osage), who lived in Southeast Ohio before them. As the first federally legislated public university in the United States of America, Ohio University was an integral part of the U.S.’s westward expansion and empire building. 

Director's Note

Family is funny. Not that this is a unique or profound idea - just something I come back to over and over and over again as I get older. Family - my family, I mean - is the reason I am here at Ohio University, studying directing, making the art that I make. My family is why I’m directing this show, in particular.  

When I first read what the Gods gave me I was looking for a project to fixate on - something spooky and weird, something new. People told me Eryn (Elyse McVay, the wonderful playwright) and I would get along, that we had kindred loves for all things scary, odd, off, and personal. Those people were right. I asked Eryn if she had a play in her pocket. She said yes and sent me the script. 

I read it and felt like Eryn and I were old friends. We must be - from another life, or something. How else could she write a play that so perfectly enchanted me and taught me new things about my own family! I knew that it was going to be a great time - but I did not anticipate how much this play would mean to me. 

There is so much to find and mine inside Gods. For me, this play is about the magic made between sisters, mothers, and daughters; how that magic is all encompassing, full of love and needles, the best thing a girl can imagine for herself; how that magic is a dangerous threat to the individual; how this cult of love is the family I have known my whole life. 

So, what the Gods gave me is personal. More personal than any other piece I’ve directed. This play has let me hold and study my family. Here, I have found much of the pain we have wrought on each other, along with the many ways we have weathered so many storms. Luckily, my family has come out of the tumult a stronger collective of individuals who can choose each other every day. Choice makes all the difference - I know that now.

Each production of this play will bring the women of Nevermoore to life. Each will have its own magic spell to cast. This production, in particular, is a love letter to Victoria, Margaret, Sophie, and Bedelia and how they create and fall prey to their own storms. 

By Molly H. Donahue, Director


Thank you note from the Director

The coven of artists who have made this beautiful thing you are about to watch have been dreamweavers. The designers, actors, makers, and managers did not hesitate to pour their magic into this show and I cannot be more grateful for each of them. Theatre is a collaborative artform that is only improved by the collective experiences, love, and voices that come together to create it. And that includes you, the audience. You are the final spark that completes the alchemy of theatre. Thank you for being here tonight - we cannot do this without you. 

Ohio University School of Theater

Welcome to the 2022-2023 OHIO Theater Season!

We are thrilled to welcome you to live theater on the Athens campus. Our shops, studios, and classrooms are central to the artistic work our students produce each year. Working collaboratively with all disciplines, our productions celebrate telling complex, vivid stories of what it means to human in changing times.

The School of Theater supports multiple types of storytelling on our stages, from new play development to Shakespeare reimagined. Vibrancy Theater is a student-run theater focused on “uplifting and broadcasting the Black, Indigenous and People of Color in theatre at Ohio University and beyond.” They’ll be presenting a new adaptation of Lorca’s Yerma in the spring semester. 

Tantrum Theater, OHIO’s professional theater, will feature two productions this season, bringing professional directors, stage managers, designers, technicians, and actors to work side-by-side with our students. Hotel Berry, a new play written by Jacqueline E. Lawton and commissioned by Tantrum, centers on Athens’ only Black business owners, Edward and Mattie Berry, and their world-famous hotel in 1912. In the spring, the musical Carrie will engage our students is a very different way to tell a personal story of one young woman’s search for identity.

We’ll close the spring semester with our final Seabury Quinn, Jr. Playwrights’ Festival. With the retirements of Professors Charles Smith and Erik Ramsey, we’ve made the difficult decision to sunset the MFA Playwriting degree. Please join us to celebrate the 29th annual festival and say farewell to our beloved program. 

As an audience member and supporter, you’ll engage with new students discovering their craft and advanced students writing and designing their thesis productions. Thank you for taking this journey with us and helping celebrate what theater does best: reflect our changing times.


Julius Caesar

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Shelley Delaney

Power and Ambition. Friendship and Betrayal. Anarchy and Justice. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare is a fast and furious political tale for our time.

Virginia Hahne Theater
October 6-8 @ 8PM

October 7 @ 4pm
October 8 @ 2PM


Doctor Voynich and Her Children 

A Prediction By Leanna Keyes
Directed by Tyler Everett Adams

Doctor Rue Voynich and her apprentice Fade travel the American Heartland dispensing herbal medications. They also covertly perform abortions--long ago made illegal. When approached by a local young woman, Hannah, to perform an abortion, Fade must assist her before the sheriff can nail them for the “attempted murder of an unborn person.” This post-Roe v. Wade play about mothers and daughters is poetic, sexy, vulgar, queer, and a little too real.

Virginia Hahne Theater
October 20-22 @ 8PM
October 22 @ 2PM


what the Gods gave me

By Eryn Elyse McVay
Directed by Molly H. Donahue

Moon magic, man eaters, and matrimony; the women of Nevermoore Inn are preparing for the first night of the rest of their lives, but their carefully crafted mythos is about to catch fire. Written by OU’s own Eryn Elyse McVay, what the Gods gave me is a story about the magic of the family and the power of the individual.

Baker Backstage
November 3-5 8PM
November 5 @ 2PM


Hotel Berry

By Jacqueline E. Lawton
Directed by JaMeeka Holloway

By 1912 Athens’ only Black business owners, Edward and Mattie Berry, have established one of the finest hotels in Ohio, with visitors from all over the country. When former president and now presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt decides to stay at the hotel, a potential moment of pride and joy unleashes scandal and political upheaval.

Forum Theater
November 17-19 @ 8PM
November 30-December 3 @ 8PM
December 3 @ 2PM



1st Year MFA Directors’ Projects

To Be Announced

Directed by Devin Ty Franklin and Caitlin Lopez

First year MFA Directing students Devin Ty Franklin and Caitlin Lopez will each present a one-act play to introduce themselves as artists to our community. We are proud and excited to produce their work. Titles and production information are forthcoming.

March 2-4 @ 8PM
March 4 @ 2PM
March 7-10 @ 8PM



Book by Lawrence D. Cohen
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Music by Michael Gore
Adapted from Stephen King’s Carrie
Directed and Choreographed by Victoria Sook

Adapted from Stephen King's 1974 novel Carrie, the musical focuses on an awkward teenage girl with telekinetic powers whose lonely life is dominated by an oppressive religious fanatic mother. When she is humiliated by her classmates at the high school prom, she unleashes chaos on everyone and everything in her path.

Elizabeth Baker Theater
March 9 &10, 21-25 @ 8PM
March 25th @ 12PM



By Federico García Lorca
Directed by Ally Poole

A woman in a passionless marriage, who wants nothing more than to have a child. A community that measures a woman’s worth by their ability to bear children. Yerma, for anyone who has ever desperately wanted something and found that it was just beyond their reach.

Forum Theater
April 13-15, 18-22 @ 8:00pm
April 22 @ 2PM


29th Annual Seabury Quinn, Jr. Playwrights’ Festival

Plays by Eryn Elyse McVay & Steven Strafford

The annual Ohio University Seabury Quinn, Jr. Playwrights’ Festival held each year at the end of the Spring Semester represents the culmination of the work of OU’s MFA Playwrights. Join us to celebrate and help in the creation of new work!

Baker Theater
April 13-15, 18-22


Please join us for the entire season of live in-person theater. You won’t want to miss a minute!


Merri Biechler


Director, Associate Professor of Instruction

School of Theater