Original Play by Hallie Stephenson ’20 Accepted into Winterfest New York Theater Festival

Aspiring actor and playwright Hallie Stephenson ’20 often performed on the Poly stage, and now, her original play, The Virgin’s Night Off, will be part of the Winterfest New York Theater Festival.

“I discovered my passion for playwriting through its creation. I gained knowledge about the process of writing a full draft, the editing process, scene structure, directing, characterization, plot, and storytelling.”

“It is my first play and I wanted to see what writing a play was like and if I could do it,” Stephenson said. She wrote the first draft during rehearsals for the role of Little Sally in the Upper School musical Urinetown in spring of 2019. “There were around four to five drafts. I am completely shocked. I am floored, and very excited that something I worked so hard on paid off!” The play will be produced when in-person theater is again performed in New York City.

Hallie Stephenson's to be produced for upcoming New York Theater Festival

Stephenson explained that The Virgin’s Night Off is the story of Roe, a young Vestal Virgin, who “feels lost among the other priestesses of the holy temple of Vesta, where she joylessly fulfills her duties. That is until she meets Flonce, a charming Roman soldier, and is propelled into a world of judgment and fear. In the heart of Rome, Roe and Flonce must grapple with the reality that even meeting each other is treasonous. But Roe will soon learn that history repeats itself, and often, in the deadliest ways.”

“I hope to be a published playwright and screenwriter with my work produced all over the world,”

Hallie Stephenson ‘20

Stephenson, who is going to SUNY Purchase College, plans to study playwriting and screenwriting with a double major in journalism. “I hope to be a published playwright and screenwriter with my work produced all over the world,” she said. “I want to act in and direct my own shows, and also hope to become a published author. I hope to be involved with the arts throughout my career and meet many people who are passionate about the same things that I am!”

Her play was presented on Poly’s Senior Plan creative site in May as a radio play, with her family contributing their talents to its production. “My family and I sat down and recorded it scene-by-scene which involved lots of hysterical laughter when we had to re-record.” Stephenson also created the poster art for the audio recording. Below is an excerpt from her radio play, The Virgin’s Night Off.

We look forward to hearing much more from our talented Poly author.