Hallie S. '20

Research Question

The Vestal Virgins of Ancient Rome are a striking example of women forced into subjugation due to their sexuality. How do modern expectations of womanhood mirror those of the Vestal Virgins of Ancient Rome? What does this say about the shared way both societies regard female sexuality and purity, and who is at fault?

Artist Statement

My radio-drama is comic, lively, and sincere. It addresses inequality, specifically regarding social expectations of sexuality, and contends with the toxicity of certain relationships. It is lighthearted at its core, while also illustrating the high stakes of the real world. It is hopeful and optimistic about ways to make change, as it comments on the true power of forgiveness to bring people together. My family and I sat down and recorded it scene-by-scene which involved lots of hysterical laughter when we had to re-record. This happened especially when half of the cast had to play two completely different characters who interact in the same scene and had to converse with themselves, or when one member kept messing up the same word which was hilarious. We had already practiced the play two times; once a year ago with the first draft, and once before with the third. I also drew a poster for the show, which serves as the image throughout. My play is well-flowing, captivating, engaging, fast-paced and surprising. It can be quirky, at times, but also suggests the gravity and urgency of its message. The Virgin’s Night Off tells the story of people of different perspectives coming together on a journey towards accepting themselves and others. Grappling with the themes of desire, sexuality, womanhood, faith, bigotry, redemption, betrayal, love, friendship and freedom, this play addresses complex issues through a modern lens. It also focuses on the damaging relationships that can form between women and girls (and men and boys) that affect their self-image, which is a major point I focused on in my research. This was the first play I wrote, and I certainly learned a lot from it. It was a labor of love that I worked on for over a year. I discovered my passion for playwriting through its creation. I gained knowledge about the process of writing a full draft, the editing process, scene structure, directing, characterization, plot, and storytelling. I gained a new understanding of an issue that I had previously not given much thought to, and on how much truly needs to change. Thank you to everyone who made this play possible. I hope you enjoy!

Synopsis:

Roe, a young Vestal Virgin, feels lost among the other priestesses of the holy temple of Vesta, where she joylessly fulfills her duties. That is until she meets Flonce, a charming Roman soldier, and is propelled into a world of judgement and danger. In the heart of Rome, Roe and Flonce must grapple with the reality that even meeting each other is treasonous. But Roe will soon learn that history repeats itself, and often, in the deadliest ways.

Creative Work

Please be advised that this project contains strong language and adult content.

VNO Synopsis.pdf

Synopsis

The Virgin's Night Off Character Breakdown.pdf

Character Descriptions

VNO Radioplay Scene Synopsis.pdf