MU Theatre Student Directs her First Play at Miami




An Interview with Blood Sisters Director and current Miami student Delaney McLaughlin by Theatre 200 marketing practicum student Anna Czeh. 

Blood Sisters Director's Note:

Everyone has something they believe in, a cause that lights a fire under them and forces them to think about their values. At times, this fire will even drive them to take action. This story is about that fire burning within these nuns. They stood up for what they believed was right. They took matters into their own hands and took action against injustice. Yes, they are going to serve time and yes, they got charged with a crime, but that did not stop them, instead, it continued to burn the fire.

Through this beautiful piece, we see these brave women wrestle with the consequences of their actions and their “need” for mercy, but we never see them falter or regret because sometimes the fire needs to be bigger and stronger despite the repercussions on individuals. Though the badass women ask for mercy in the beginning, they soon realize that they do not require mercy from the judge and rather seek validation for their actions from something greater. Their fear of punishment is valid, human, and raw but so is the need for justice. In the words of playwright Robin Rice, “In that place where mercy and justice meet, there isn’t always a handshake.” 


What is your major and when will you graduate?

I am a senior theatre and social work double major and I am planning on graduating this spring!


How does it feel to direct your first show? What were some of the challenges you ran into while working on the show? 

It’s so exciting, I have been working on this project since March and so it’s really exciting that it’s finally coming to fruition! This is my first directing experience and so I have been able to learn a lot through the rehearsal process as well as through the design process. Given the COVID pandemic, I am in a very unique position because the process isn’t your typical rehearsal process, we have to work smarter than we would abide by the CDC safety procedures. For example, in the show, the actors are never within 6’ from each other and they’re always wearing a mask. These procedures ensure that our actors are safe but they also pose a huge directorial challenge because we have to dream up solutions that allow our actors to connect without being near each other. Before I started directing I was (and still am) a stage manager so I have been able to observe and learn from a lot of really wonderful directors. Stage management is a very analytical and organizational part of theatre so it has been cool to branch away from that and lean into a more creative and artistic part of theatre. The concept of a student directing on the mainstage is not something that the theatre department does very often so I am very thankful to have this opportunity.


Why did you choose this specific play?

I chose this show because I think the themes are very relevant to the climate of the world today. Activism has become very relevant this summer through the Black Lives Matter protests but more specifically how the government has reacted to the protests and this play tackles just that. People are beginning to take their passions about injustice into the streets to stand up for what they believe is right. These nuns are doing exactly that, they’re standing up for what they believe in and are facing the consequences of their actions. 


4. Which character of the play is closest to your heart?

This is a really difficult question because I connect with all of the characters on a different level which is why I think this play is so powerful. All three women are very different from one another yet they have this powerful bond that beautifully connects them. I relate very much to Wilhelmina’s comfort, Mary’s grit, and Jane’s commitment but it is difficult to compare them to one another because they bring such different values to the piece. 


Blood Sisters is live acted on stage at the Gates-Abegglen Theatre and live-streamed on the College of Creative Arts Youtube Channel on Friday, September 11, 7:30 p.m. The recording will remain on the site through September 18.