By Sarah Atkinson
Love, friendship, betrayal and head-chopping are themes of “Lady in Waiting,” an original play which opens Friday, Aug. 3, in the Margetts Theater.
BYU graduate student Melissa Larson wrote the play, which has been produced, designed, directed and acted entirely by students.
The historical fiction play is set in Tudor England and describes the love story of Meg Wyatt, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn.
“In a time when marriage is merely a matter of business, Meg finds herself torn between the possibility of love and one of the few careers a 16th-century woman might pursue,” Larson said.
Afraid of being a spinster, Meg accepts the company, and eventually the proposal of Sir Anthony Lee.
Since little is known about some of the characters, Larson had freedom in their development.
“We only know that Meg and Anthony lived and married,” Larson said.
The play develops their relationship and uses Anne and Henry VIII as examples of what not to do in a relationship, she said.
“Meg has quite a complicated choice as she looks at her duties as lady-in-waiting to a queen and also her duties as a wife to a new husband,” said Heidi Reed, a recent theater studies graduate who stars as Meg.
Directed by Wendy Simmerman, a senior from Penrose, Colorado, the play is the 2001 Student Showcase Award Winner.
Each year BYU”s theater department reserves the last show in its season for a student production and awards it to a student to direct.
Simmerman said the play has gone through a pretty intensive process already. It has been workshopped a few times, and staged for public input.
“We”ve been saying all along that this is a great play for people who usually don”t like theater,” she said. “There is so much that happens in the play.”
Although the play is set in 16th-century England, it has modern applications.
“The journey of understanding these characters and seeing what they go through has helped me to ask where my priorities are and what they should be,” Reed said.
There is a half-price preview on Thursday, Aug. 2, and regular performances Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4, and Aug. 7-11. All shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the public and $8 for BYU faculty and students.