From Christmas lights to candlelight : a director's approach to Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo.
In 1996 playwright Alfred Uhry was commissioned to write a play for the Cultural Olympiad in honor of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games that were to be held in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. The resulting play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, is the story of a Southern Jewish family in Atlanta in 1939 grappling with their own opposing and overlapping social, cultural, and familial identities. It is Uhry’s second play in a series of works that would come to be known as his “Atlanta Trilogy,” which explores the complex cultural identity of Jews in the American South in the mid-twentieth century. In September of 2021, The Last Night of Ballyhoo was produced on the Baylor University Theatre stage. This thesis examines the directorial process of that production from research on the life and works of playwright Alfred Uhry and a directorial script analysis through the development of the director’s artistic concept, the collaborative design and rehearsal processes to the final performances.