Theatre UAB presents student-led production “The Way You Made Me,” April 10-11

“The Way You Made Me” is a story of the connections between our family, our lovers and ourselves. Student Bailey Dumlao directs the play, which will be available for viewing on Vimeo.

made me.2“The Way You Made Me” is a story of the connections between our family, our lovers and ourselves. Theatre UAB will present “The Way You Made Me,” a completely student-led production, free on Vimeo on April 10-11. 

Theatre UAB is the performance company of the University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre.

“The Way You Made Me” by Lindsay Partain is a story of unpacking and drawing the connections between our family, our lovers and ourselves. The one-woman show is pre-recorded and is not performed live before the public. Theatre UAB’s production is directed by junior Bailey Dumlao, a theater performance major from Memphis, Tennessee. It will be released to the Theatre UAB Vimeo page to view starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 10, and available through the weekend.

Dumlao says he admires the frank humanity the playwright provides and her exploration of the ways we are shaped by everyone around us. Though the show is delivered as a monologue, he cast two actresses, to create a common identity with Imogen. “By building on one another’s experiences and perspectives, Imogen cuts deeper and hits harder carrying the life stories of both of these incredible women,” he said. 

Even in a COVID-19 environment — where the small cast and crew take up the entire Odess Theatre for social distancing and only one actor is unmasked at a time — “we are still able to create something beautiful and intimate,” Dumlao said. “Carefully choreographed to keep everyone safe, but expertly crafted to tell this story.”

made me.3Bailey DumlaoDumlao, UAB’s 2021 Beinecke Scholarship nominee, hopes to pursue graduate school in interdisciplinary theater studies. As a student director, Dumlao says he loves to bring opportunities for others to experiment, and having a creative team full of experienced and first-time artists is invaluable. “Everyone shines,” he said.  

“The challenge to create my own work drives the shows I choose, like this one, that tell stories I feel we don’t hear often enough,” Dumlao said. “Including BIPOC performers and queer stories fleshes out the canon and hopefully shows someone else that they can do this too.” 

Imogen is played by Farryn Owens and McKenna Shaw; the movement ensemble is Raiya Goodman and Matthew J. Kelly. Stage manager is R’Kaisa Mitchell, and assistant stage manager is Katie Pulmano. Lighting designers are Ian Black and Kirk Kirkpatrick, with costume design by Briana Hernandez and choreography by Rachel-Marie Strazza.

Partain is a queer playwright based in Portland, Oregon, and member of the Dramatists Guild. She holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in theater from Pacific University and was co-founder and vice president of the online literary magazine Cascadia Rising Review (January 2017-December 2020). Her work has appeared at the Mid-America Theatre Conference, the Midwest Dramatist Conference, Stage Left Theatre, Vanguard Arts Collective, Take Ten Festival, Artists’ Exchange, John DeSotelle Studio, Five & Dime Drama Collective, Bonita Center for the Arts, Alternative Theatre, Atlantic Acting School, The Tank, Whisper Skin Theatre, and more, and has been produced across England, in Dubai and in Japan. Her work is published in “The Best New 10-Minute Plays of 2021,” “The Best New Men’s Monologues of 2021” and “The Best New Women’s Monologues of 2021,” Applause anthologies, “The Best Men’s Monologues of 2021” (Smith and Kraus), and “Siren Songs” (Next Stage Press). Her body of work is available on New Play Exchange.