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‘What it’s all for’

Lamar Theater presents “The Heidi Chronicles”

Julia McManus, left plays Heidi and Daisy Obregon plays Susan in "The Heidi Chronicles" through Feb. 26 at the University Theater.
Julia McManus, left plays Heidi and Daisy Obregon plays Susan in "The Heidi Chronicles" through Feb. 26 at the University Theater.

Art is Dr. Heidi Holland’s profession and women in art is her specialty. As we catch glimpses of her experiences through the decades, from the 1960s to the end of the ’80s, we learn there is much more to her than just simply her academic studies.

LU’s department of theatre and dance presents “The Heidi Chronicles” through Feb. 26 in the University Theater.

The play follows Heidi (Juliana McManus) and her friends over the thirty years and how they impact her life. Along the way, everyone follows their own path of self-discovery as the world moves around them.

Through the events of the past, the scenes flow like moving pictures as we follow Heidi’s memories. As we move through the years, it feels like we are jumping from one painting to the next.

With an art historian as a main character, the play naturally makes references to art and the influential women who were a part of it. Those in the audience who know a thing or two about art can also enjoy the inside jokes playwright Wendy Wasserstein throws in every now and then.

The women actively stand for equal rights in the workplace and in their relationships. Heidi and her friends seek careers and are incredibly hardworking individuals. It feels like we have stepped into a time machine and are seeing real women fight for the right to make their own choices.

Heidi’s rocky relationship with journalist Scoop Rosenbaum (Kalan Bonnette) is a constant back-and-forth which goes nowhere. He competes with Heidi due to his ego and his desire to be the breadwinner of the household. Scoop is a representation of men who wanted to keep the traditional gender roles alive.

Throughout the play, it is clear Heidi feels different compared to her peers. She keeps more to herself and is more of a follower, rather than a leader. Her ideals and desires are different from those around her. It seems as though she is watching her friends from a slight distance, willingly stepping away. It is obvious she isn’t happy.

Scoop asks the question, “What’s it all for?” For Heidi, is the “it” to live for herself or for others? For Scoop, is it mass success in his career or is it for the sake of being the “man of the household?” It is a question both characters work on finding the answers to.

Having some of the cast members playing multiple characters is a nice touch, as each actor has an imprtant moment.

Set designer Lee Barker sets up the transitions from decade to decade incredibly well. The minimal set and the change of music quickly establishes where we are in the story. It also brings forth a lot of nostalgia for people who grew up in those specific decades.

This is also enhanced with Tanner McAlpin’s costume design. Each of the costumes fit the time period nicely. At some points, they even follow a theme where all of the characters wear matching color schemes in a scene.

All of the cast members are super talented and the ensemble nature of the show enhances the sense of community. It feels like we are listening to the older generation talking about the “glory days” of their youth and what it was like to live in the decades past.

Despite the play’s setting, the issues brought up are still relevant today as they pertain to women’s rights, sexuality, and to finding out what it truly means to be happy.

As a Gen Z, “The Heidi Chronicles” is a fun and moving way to see a time when women fought for the rights I take for granted.

“The Heidi Chronicles” continues Feb. 24-25 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. at the Studio Theater. Tickets can be purchased at

Category: Opinion