2022 - 2023 Season
By Jessica Kahkoska
Directed by Ashley Olive Teague
November 17th-21st, 2022
Nia reimagines the iconic Greek story of Iphigenia’s sacrifice in a rural coastal town governed by fundamental religious rules and a blue collar military tradition.
When apocalyptic squalls ground the US Air Guard fleet in Aulis, North Carolina, an overwhelmed Colonel Agamemnon makes an unthinkable choice for the return of calm skies. As his wife, an influential congresswoman, passionately fights for her daughter’s choice in the matter, his daughter Nia shocks the town by volunteering for the Pentecostal snake-handling ceremony herself.
Using the old bones of the Euripides story, Nia delves into a dark, coastal world of military fervor, dogwood flowers, porch gossip, and sweet tea. Featuring Achilles as a confused high school drop-out, Menelaos as a grief-stricken, desperate veteran, and a chorus of small-town church women on the neighborhood porch, Nia grounds an epic Greek story close to home, all with an ancient, mythic violence lurking beneath the surface.
Was there indeed a miracle at Aulis, or just hysteria and violence? What story will we choose to believe?
Tickets on sale now!
Ashley Olive Teague is the Founding Artistic Director of Notch Theatre Company (www.NotchTheatre.org) and recipient of the Embark Fellowship Award for Social Innovation in Entrepreneurship. Teague is an affiliate artist with New Georges in New York City, a participating member of Remember2019, and has received numerous accolades - including Broadway World awards for Best Director/Choreographer and Best Musical. As a creative content producer, Teague worked on such films as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, Paul Haggis’ The Next Three Days, Gus Van Sant's Promised Land, and Tina Chism’s Peeples. She has taught at Amherst College, New York University, RISD, FSU/Asolo Rep, University of Redlands, Chautauqua Institute, Wittenberg University, and Brown University to name a few. Her writing has been published in Bedlam Magazine, in the Theater in the Age of Climate Change series on HowlRound, and in the anthology Theater Artists Making Theatre With No Theater.
Nia – Erica Bass
Erica is a junior Dramatic Art and Political Science major with a minor in the Classical Humanities. This is her third show with KTC and her first show with pentecostal snake handling! She hopes you enjoy the show!
Nestra – Laura Bache
Laura Westray is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the world premiere of Nia. This is Laura’s first show at the collegiate level. It has meant so much to her to work with this cast and production team. Laura is majoring in Dramatic Art and minoring in Musical Theatre. Favorite roles include: Gavroche in Les Mis, Minnie Fay in Hello, Dolly!, and Little Red in Into the Woods.
Cashier – Grace Wissink
Grace is a dramatic arts major with a music and writing for the screen and stage minor! Nia is their second show with KTC. Their college experience has mostly consisted of an insanely extensive amount of a cappella so they’re super pumped, albeit completely unprepared to be singing with an actual instrument.
Flight Captain/Pilot 1/Control Tower/Weatherband
Roy (Captain Agamemnon) – Nijal Morgan
Nia is his third and possibly final KTC show. He loves acting and have been happy to be a part of this performance. Enjoy the show!
Lee – Thompson Sewell
Thompson is a junior Dramatic Arts Major with a minor in Global Film and Studio Art at UNC. He was born and raised in Athens, GA (go dawgs) and has been acting since the 7th grade, after he auditioned for a musical off of a dare and fell in love with it. Since then, he has done a variety of shows through middle and high school, working through his school and other acting companies outside, including a local comedy club. Outside of acting, he is involved with RUF and loves to sing, paint, workout, make and watch movies, hang out with his friends, and, of course, cheer on Tar Heel basketball. His plan is to get involved in the film industry post grad as a film actor. While at UNC, he has been in an a capella group, done a show with Company Carolina, and a few films with CFA. He is super excited to make his KTC debut!
Matt – Kieran Murphey
KIERAN MURPHY (he/they) is an actor, poet, environment artist and possible vampire from Mebane, North Carolina. He is a double major in poetry and dramatic art and has additionally studied theatre at Governor’s School East and The Hawbridge School. He has worked with many groups on campus, including LAB!, CHiPs and the Carolina Film Association. Kieran is excited to share this story with you, and hopes you enjoy the world premiere of Nia!
Chorus Woman 1
Chorus Woman 2 – Hope Hanson
Hope is a junior dramatic art major. She is very excited to be making her KTC debut in Nia. Her most recent credits include playing Hero in Much Ado About Nothing and Cassandra in The Trojan Women. She hopes you enjoy the show as much as she has enjoyed working on it
Chorus Woman 3 – Adriana Naula
She is a sophomore double majoring in sociology and English with a concentration in social justice and literature and minoring in classics. While not studying dramatic arts, she finds theatre to be a unique form of art that combines visual and audio experiences to text.
Soooooo…..Nia is her first production here at UNC!!!! She has not acted in anything since middle school, so she is very excited to be in this production!!!! She is so lucky to have this experience and look forward to acting/working in future KTC and other local theatre/film productions :3
While her time in the theatre department here at UNC has been very recent and brief, she works closely with other creative organizations on campus. She is a member of St. Anthony Hall and has participated in screenwriting workshops and other activities at the hall that have made her a better performer and writer.
so excited for you all to experience the world of Nia!!!!!!!!!!!!:)))))
Chorus Woman 4 – Caroline Marques
Caroline is a Junior studying Dramatic Arts and International Affairs with a minor in Spanish. She is originally from Brazil and this is her second show with KTC. Caroline would like to thank the cast and crew for this amazing experience. She hopes you enjoy the show!
First Officer, Flight Captain, Weather Band, Pilots, Second Musician – Nate Proctor
Nate Proctor is a senior Dramatic Art major with a double major in Communications and a minor in Writing for the Screen & Stage. This is Nate’s second production with KTC and his second production at Carolina. In his free time, he enjoys watching and making movies, hanging out with friends, and cheering on UNC. After college, Nate hopes to continue his acting/writing career in Los Angeles. He thanks you for coming to this production of Nia and he hopes you enjoy the show.
Director: Ashley Teague
Music Director: Tommy Crawford
Producer: Madeline Gibson
Producer: Jonathan Melton
Jonathan Melton is a senior Dramatic Arts and Communications (Media and Technology Production) double major. Jonathan is a producing director on the Kenan Theater Company Board and is excited to be working on his fourth show for KTC and is looking forward to working on Spring Awakening next semester. Jonathan was a part of the original zoom production of NIA and is more than thrilled to finally see the show on the stage.
Stage Manager: Ripley Reid
Set Designer: Cori LaVergne
Cori LaVergne (She/They) is a senior Dramatic Arts and Anthropology double major with a minor in Folklore, and she is graduating this December. This is the fourth show she has set designed for Kenan Theatre Company, in addition to Indeed, Friend!, Anna K, and Urinetown. They are also the scenic charge for Kenan Theatre Company. Cori would like to thank Jessica Secrest for her support academically, artistically, and personally.
Costume Designer: Hock
Lighting Designer: Dave Navalinsky
Assistant Lighting Designer: Elizabeth Redding
Elizabeth Redding (Assistant Lighting Designer) is a Senior studying Chemistry and Dramatic Art. Previous lighting designs include The Most Massive Woman Wins (LAB!), Fun Home (Company Carolina), and Anna K (KTC). She is looking forward to designing KTC’s upcoming production of Spring Awakening. Elizabeth has enjoyed working with this talented team of designers and would like to thank the cast and crew. Enjoy the show!
Sound Designer: Sam Henry