Hyperion Players to stage original work

By Jeff Decker
A local performing arts organization’s decision to cap its pilot season with an original work is a double-edged sword.
The Hyperion Players’ “Call Me Sister” made its its world premiere June 8 and continues through June 11 at Ivy Tech Auditorium in Noblesville, it As such, the cast and crew are without a previous frame of reference, and attracting an audience to an unknown work can be challenging.
But staging an original work is “almost liberating,” said Ian Hauer, Hyperion’s executive artistic director and writer/director of “Call Me Sister.”

“As a writer and director, I can work with each cast member and designer to create characters and ideas from scratch,” the Noblesville resident said. “It allows for a very collaborative process.”

Set in England during the 16th century, “Call Me Sister” tells the story of Mary Tudor (played by Duana Menefee of Cincinnati, Ohio) and younger sister Elizabeth Tudor (Becky Larson of Zionsville) as they vie for the throne of their father, King Henry VIII. Hauer said the play is about the bond between sisters, the corrupting influence of power, how women wielding power are treated relative to their male counterparts, and “the different faces we all wear.”

Menefee, appearing in her first Hyperion Players production, said it is challenging to play historical figures.

“Playing Mary, particularly the turmoil of her ascension and reign, has been an interesting exercise in balance,” Menefee said. “I’ve really loved trying to find the nuance in her heroism, something of a departure from the idea of ‘Bloody Mary,’ as history so loves to brand her.”


Larson also is making her Hyperion Players debut. She described Elizabeth as incredibly intelligent and quick-witted.

“I appreciate the opportunity to portray the expansive journey she goes on,” Larson said. “From a feral teenager to the threshold of the monarchy, Elizabeth goes through a lot.”

Hauer, his assistants, cast and crew have been working hard to prepare for opening night. Hauer said audiences should find “Call Me Sister” appealing.

“First, everyone loves a good story, and I believe this is a good story,” Hauer said. “Second, it’s a play that’s never been performed before, not anywhere. The audience for this show will be the first ever to laugh, cry, grip their seats, lean forward and applaud it. What an opportunity.”

Tickets for “Call Me Sister” are $12 each and are available at hyperionplayers.com.


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