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Weekender Main: School Of Theater’s ‘Doctor Voynich and Her Children’

Ohio University’s School of Theater’s “Doctor Voynich and Her Children” opens this Thursday at 8 p.m. The show will run from Oct. 20 to Oct. 22 in the Virginia Hanne Theater, 19 S. College St.

The show has been at the forethought of many people’s minds, whether they know it or not. Written by Leanna Keyes in 2018, before the overturn of Roe V. Wade, “Doctor Voynich and Her Children” is set in a world where all abortions are illegal.  

“The show is about the right to choose and who gets to decide that for each other,” said Hannah Black, a sophomore studying interdisciplinary arts who is on wardrobe crew for the show.

Black hopes that this show’s impactful message is accentuated in the theater.

“It's a very small cast,” Black said. “And it's a very small space, so you really get to feel everything together.”

The characters traverse ground that is rubble made to look like a highway in “The Heartland,” although, their emotional journeys throughout this world are just as rocky. Walking in a world where LGBTQIA+ rights are being taken away, The Heartland’s religious hand firmly grasps the government. This play was intended as merely a dystopian interpretation of the future, but holds more weight in today’s post-Roe world.

“‘Doctor Voynich and Her Children’ is about it is predominantly about motherhood, the right to abortion.” Ivy Posey, a sophomore studying acting, who is playing the title character of Doctor Voynich, said. “And it's about people trying to find peace within their role. And then finding their own way things should be done, not the way that the world says it should be done.”

With protests on either side of the issue happening every day all around the nation, this piece has grabbed the attention of many. With every showing fully sold out, aside from student rush tickets, Athens has made it clear that this is an important play to the community.

“Yeah, I guess this play’s exceedingly topical … not just in the Roe v. Wade aspect, but also in the trans aspect, which you don't see that very often.” Posey said.

Posey’s character, Dr. Voynich, is a trans woman, which Posey said added extra layers of representation and understanding.

“This is a play by and about trans people,” Poset said. “And that this is a play that has trans voices and it's very core. It's very very, very important to me.”

With the School of Theater’s push for equality in more ways than one, not only have they portrayed their own students through theater but the whole OU student body.

“I'm really glad that we're starting to, more and more in media, see different minorities and people represented,'‘ Joshua Irwin, a sophomore studying studio art and animation, said. “I think that there's a story for everyone and they deserve to have that opportunity to be heard and to be shown.”

Irwin encourages everyone to go out to the theater, “I think even if you're not someone who's particularly intertwined with the arts, it's something that's very enlightening and important to see,” Irwin said.


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