Hamline News

Student Play Hits the Stage with a Reading

Hamline senior Emily Remmey, who goes by Remi, graduated high school and came to Hamline to study theater and business. Once on campus, she realized that difficulties she had in high school were related to anxiety and depression.

During the summer of her junior year, she decided to try to help other young people by creating a theater production that would raise awareness of the symptoms of anxiety and depression in teens. She wanted to let suffering teens know they aren’t alone and to spark empathy and more understanding among parents, peers and educators.

“I wish that I had seen something like this five years ago,” said Remmey. “That’s why I wrote the play.”

With a grant for Summer Collaborative Undergraduate Research and a mentor in professor William Wallace, Hamline’s Theatre and Dance Department Chair, Remmey spent a summer reading mental health research articles and self-help books for teens. She then sat down to write Shell of A Person. The resulting play is 45 minutes -- short enough to allow for presentation in a high school classroom. The work is structured around a young woman named Grace who is navigating how to learn to live with anxiety and depression.

Shell of A Person debuted with a staged reading on Wednesday, March 6 under the direction of Hamline alumnus Joe Allen in the Anne Simley Theater. As a continuation of Remmy’s research project, the audience filled out a survey before and after the show.

“The reading will give life to the words,” said Remmey. “Joe and the actors found subtext and connections that I had not realized.”

Next, Remmey will analyze the surveys and finish preparing her presentation for the National Collaborative Undergraduate Research Conference, which is in Atlanta, Georgia this April.

The theater department has been home for Remmey during her time at Hamline. She has stage managed a few shows, served as the Assistant Production Manager and the Facilities Manager, and designed the lights for the spring production of Petroleum. She is a recipient of multiple theater awards, including the Simley scholarship.

Her Hamline experience has been positive. “I was in need of someone to tell me that I was worth it,” Remmey said.

In May, she will graduate and hopefully put her nonprofit management and theatre degrees to work.

As for playwriting, she said, "I love this process and I want to do it again. My senior seminar has a project where we need to write a grant proposal. I am planning on using the assignment to flush out another project idea on gaslighting in high school. I guess I am interested in high school because I wish someone had told me all the things I know now."

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Written by staff
3/4/2019 edited on 3/7/2019