Chair of Anderson University’s Theatre Department to Perform at World’s Largest Solo Theatre Festival

Dr. McEniry's grandmother, Hazel Louise Corts, is the inspiration behind a one-woman show that premieres at Anderson University's Daniel Recital Hall on Oct. 4 before its presentation at United Solo in New York City.

A theatre professor at the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University is once again among the select actors performing at the world’s largest solo theatre festival.

Dr. Deborah McEniry, chair of AU’s Theatre Department, co-wrote and will perform her one-woman show, “Hazel Louise,” at the United Solo theatre festival in New York City on Oct. 14 following its premiere at Anderson’s Daniel Recital Hall. It’s her second time appearing at the world-renowned festival.

The play is a “love letter” to her grandmother, Hazel Louise Corts, who died in 1998 because of Alzheimer’s. A 75-minute journey through Corts’ life, McEniry portrays her grandmother at various stages of her life from her childhood in Illinois during the Great Depression to her final days in West Palm Beach, Florida.

While the play is McEniry’s tribute to her grandmother, it’s also a call-to-action against a disease that is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. More than 5 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s nationwide.

“My hope is that the more we can make the public aware of the disease and what it takes from the person and the person’s family, the more we can increase medical research and funding,” Dr. McEniry said.

The play, co-written with Dr. McEniry’s cousin, Dr. Alicia Corts, a theatre professor at St. Leo University, premieres on Thursday, Oct. 4, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at AU’s Daniel Recital Hall. Two AU Theatre Department professors are among those who are assisting with the production; Professor Cara Wood is serving as the show’s lighting designer and tech director, and Professor Jessica Snyder is the costume and hair designer.

Tickets are now available.

This is Dr. McEniry’s second appearance at the United Solo festival. In 2015, her one-woman show “YESNOMAYBE” was among the selections, which she performed following its premiere at Anderson.