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by Enda Walsh

I was the lead dramaturg for Penelope as my senior thesis production at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Working with the director, my colleague and fellow senior undergraduate Spencer Byham-Carson, we proposed the script to the Season Selection Committee, cast the production, engaged in a 4 month-long design process, and brought the piece to fruition in a 6-week long rehearsal period.

Photo by Yewon Yun

Photo by Yewon Yun


Penelope Dramaturgy Website
I created contextual materials for designers, actors, and creative team members to use throughout the process housed on a website. The materials featured include: glossary; plot bead diagram in the style of Robert Scanlan; context around the play's source material The Odyssey; connection to the 2008 Economic Crisis; and aesthetic imagery.
Click the image to the right to visit and explore the website!

Click Me!

Photo by Louis Stein

Photo by Yewon Yun

Photo by Louis Stein

Penelope Audience Engagement


I have a passion for creating interactive lobby display experiences that help to bring the audience into the world of the play and deepen their engagement with the themes of the text. 
For Penelope, we introduced aesthetics inspired by reality TV like The Bachelorette, including a video that opened our show introducing each of the characters as their younger selves. To help the audience to get acquainted with the characters, the competition for Penelope's hand, and the aesthetic influence of reality TV, I created an altar with each of the four suitors and a vase above each suitor. After getting to know more about the suitors using "dating profiles" on display, audiences were invited to vote for their favorite of the four by taking a rose and placing it in the vase.
I chose to make this display out of entirely recycled and repurposed materials to demonstrate how dramaturgs can create an engaging display while keeping sustainability in mind. Materials were acquired from a local Pittsburgh organization dedicated to reuse, Construction Junction. The altar was made from kitchen cabinets while the roses were hand-crafted out of outdated posters collected from across campus. To learn more about my process, click the button below to read the document which I printed and put on display for audiences to learn about how this lobby display was made sustainably. 
I asked the actors to complete a google form as their characters in order to create dating profiles for each character. Audiences were able to gain insight into how these men view love and dating, their unique traits, and how they think of themselves, before making their decision and voting for their favorite. This was another method of priming the audience for the toxic characters they were about to meet.
To read the dating profiles, click on the button to the right! 
Penelope Program Note

Photo by Yewon Yun


The program note was the final element to help audiences to become acquainted with the world of the play. Because of the absurdist nature of the text, the program note was key to ensure audiences could learn context about the play's relationship to the source text, The Odyssey, and to understand connections between the characters and themes presented onstage and the state of our capitalist, patriarchal society. To read the program note, click the button below.

Photos by Yewon Yun and Louis Stein

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