Austin de la Torre ‘20
This Thursday the entire fifth-form and some of the sixth-form saw a performance of Dirty Barbie and Other Girlhood Tales in the Bowman Gray Auditorium. Dirty Barbie and other girlhood tales is a one-woman play that was both written and performed by Denise Stewart, who teaches theatre and improv comedy at UVA. Mrs. Hubbard who is a member of the English department knows Mrs. Stewart personally and was actually one of her teachers. The play is about Mrs. Stewart’s experiences growing up in a dysfunctional family in small-town North Carolina. The play followed Mrs. Stewart’s life from the time her mother and siblings moved to North Carolina shortly after her father’s death to when her mother died while Mrs. Stewart was in her twenties. The play tackled a heavy subject and was riddled with the effects of alcoholism on a family, but there was never a dull moment and always something to make you laugh. Mrs. Hubbard said in an email to the community that the play is “laugh-out-loud funny and expertly performed.” After the play was over there was a short Q&A session where students had the opportunity to ask Mrs. Stewart questions about the creative process or the play. Mrs. Stewart mentioned that when she was writing the play she tried to “squeeze all the pity out of it” so the audience could focus on the story itself and find the humor in it. Everyone enjoyed the play and had a good laugh. We are all very thankful for the opportunity to get to see this fine work.