College News

UA Professor to Perform Original Show at World’s Largest Festival

From the June 2018 Desktop News | Allison Hetzel, associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, will debut her new one-woman play, “Step Mama Drama” in Scotland this summer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Allison Hetzel
Allison Hetzel

The festival draws its roots from the founding of the Edinburgh International Festival, created after World War II to boost European culture. The festival enlisted prestigious theatre, ballet, and music companies to showcase top-tier performances. However, additional uninvited theatre companies arrived, creating a fringe festival now known as Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The festival is now the world’s largest arts festival with theatre, comedy, music, dance, and visual art.

In August, Hetzel will occupy a small theatre on the Royal Mile to premiere her original work, “Step Mama Drama!” which illustrates both positive and negative stories regarding stepmothers.

“If you have a stepmom in your life, or you are one, or you know someone who has one, you know that everyone’s experience is different,” Hetzel said. “Individuals’ experiences range from good to bad to in-between, and they drive the dramatic themes contained in this work.”

The show takes Hetzel’s decade-long experience as a stepmother and combines it with the experiences of others, as well as pieces of advice, whether good or bad, that she has been given along the way.

“Suddenly, everyone had something to say to me. My show is based in monologues with transitions containing what people said to me when I was becoming a stepmom,” Hetzel said.

For Hetzel, Festival Fringe is the perfect place to premiere her work. As an international festival, she explained that one can see anything from an abstract art show to a circus to a performance about a man’s journey through dementia.

“Festival Fringe is a wonderful place to reach a broad audience, so it’s a great place to take solo work,” Hetzel said. “This piece has been a very personal process, so I’m looking forward to getting it in front of an international audience with its world premiere.”

After the curtains close on Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Hetzel said that she could see herself exploring future solo performance projects.  She would like to perform “Step Mama Drama!” in the United States.

“I have a big bouquet of interests,” Hetzel said. “It really depends on what develops with the creative process.”

“Step Mama Drama!” will play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on August 3-4 and 6-10 in theSpace on the Mile. For more information, contact Allison Hetzel at ahetzel@ua.edu.