Mount St. Joseph University

Drama Club Aims for Glass Ceiling with ‘Death and the Maiden’

Dateline: student newspaper

By: Sasha Feldmann

File Under: dateline, drama club, student life

Death and the Maiden poster

Today, it seems as if assault is everywhere. The trial of Brett Kavanaugh, the #MeToo movement, the repeated indictment of male celebrities--it has all created a culture in which women often feel equal parts empowered and vulnerable. But rather than ignore or dismiss the calamity, we must confront it with a scrutinizing lens.

The Mount Drama Club is undertaking such a strategy with the upcoming performance of Ariel Dorfman’s "Death and the Maiden," directed by Drew Shannon, Ph.D., and Sara Croswell.

Paulina Escobar, the survivor of torture and rape under a totalitarian dictatorship in an unnamed Latin American country, is married to Gerardo Escobar, a lawyer appointed to investigate such cases in the aftermath of the dictatorship’s fall. One night, Paulina comes face-to-face with the man she believes is her attacker, Doctor Roberto Miranda, and decides to tie him up and place him on trial in her living room.

“The show is incredibly relevant in today’s political landscape,” says Shannon. “It deals with an assault survivor confronting her attacker. Albeit, this is an extreme example, but the spirit of defiance and courage is what is paramount. We are seeing women today finally able to come forward about their past and speak out.”

A warning: "Death and the Maiden" deals with adult subject matter, and includes graphic language and intense descriptions of torture, abuse, and assault. Viewer discretion is advised, and no one under 17 is admitted. The Drama Club did not undertake this play lightly, and did so in consultation with the Mount’s administration. The club’s interest is not in the play’s shock value, but rather in its illumination of human rights violations and its relevance to our current political moment.


Students Luke Danis, Al McNeal, and Tiffany Nascimento will be performing on:

Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.

Friday, Nov.16 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.

Students Sasha Feldmann, A.J. Keith, and Mike Meyer will be performing on:

Friday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m.

Thursday, Nov.15 at 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov.18 at 2 p.m.

For tickets, contact Betsy Jones at or (513)-244-4863. Tickets are $7 with an MSJ ID or $12 without, and may also be purchased at the door of the University Recital Hall.