Panther Reads

“Anastasia” by Terrence McNally


Shaila Bah

Drama teacher Lauren Kuykendall read “Anastasia” by Terrence McNally. This is a play that recounts the conspiracies following real-life Anastasia Romanoff’s death.

Shaila Bah, Staff Writer

Drama teacher Lauren Kuykendall is currently reading the play “Anastasia” by Terrence McNally.

“Anastasia is based on the story of the Romanoff tsar and tsarina and their children that were shot and murdered as part of the Russian revolution,” Kuykendall said.

Anastasia was the fourth and youngest daughter of the Romanoff family who was rumored to be assassinated on July 17, 1918. She only had one younger brother who was the heir to the throne. Their father tsar Nicholas II abdicated the throne during World War I due to civil war at home. 

“The musical is based on conspiracy theories. A lot of those exist. Some people believe the children had their clothes laced with diamonds at the time of the attack,” Kuykendall said. “When she was shot, Anastasia supposedly survived and no one could find her body. The musical is based on what would happen if Anastasia did live.” 

Kuykendall started reading the script and has read it multiple times. She is reading through it again to make a costuming plot and help the costume designer plan out what everyone wears in a scene.

 Terrence McNally, also described as “the bard of American theater,” is a five-time Tony winner. McNally has done plays such as “Ragtime,” “Master Class,” and “It’s Only a Play.” 

“The story itself is super intriguing and interesting,” Kuykendall said. “It is also really thought-provoking. It plays on home and family and knowing where you come from and where you belong. It really gives a definition on what family truly is, and it tugs at your heart.”