WWU alumni return to campus to stage 'what the Gods gave me' Feb. 3-11

Western Washington University’s Department of Theatre and Dance is staging a new play by alum Eryn Elyse McVay. The play runs February 3 through 11 in the DUG Theatre at the Performing Arts Center on Western’s campus.  

Directed by another WWU alum, Kayla Adams, “what the Gods gave me” takes place miles from any civilization, on a barren stretch of cold wilderness at Nevermoore Inn: home to Bedelia, her twin daughters, and her niece Victoria. Once a generation, a disposable outsider is brought to the closed family of women in order to ensure their prosperity and survival. As Victoria grows more restless with her isolated existence, she begins to dream of life beyond Nevermoore’s walls, encouraged by outsider Henrik. As Henrik and Victoria’s fates become intertwined and Bedelia’s way of life is threatened, the family reaches a sticking point between tradition and the promise of the future. 

McVay is a Pacific Northwestern playwright who earned her bachelor's degree in Theatre from Western Washington University where she concentrated on Playwriting and Acting, and is currently an MFA candidate in Playwriting at Ohio University. Her play “How Sweet The Sound” was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill 2019 New Playwrights Conference, the 2019 National Partners of American Theatre Region 7 Selection for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, a semi-finalist for the International Wolfe Prize from UNC's PlayMakers Repertory Theater, and received recognition in Distinguished Achievement from KCACTF for their National Undergraduate Playwriting Award in both 2018 and 2019. "what the Gods gave me" received a staged reading at the 27th Annual Seabury Quinn Jr. Playwright's Festival at Ohio University and premiered as a full production there last fall. 

Director Kayla Adams is a theatre artist based in Chicago. Most recently, she directed the midwest premiere of "The Dark" by John Patrick Shanley at Pale Horse Playhouse, and assistant-produced "Laughing Song: A Walking Dream" at Theatre Y, which was named one of the best productions of 2022 by The Chicago Reader. She is currently an ensemble member and teaches in The Meisner Studio The Artistic Home Ensemble where she also served as Associate Artistic Director from 2017-2021. While AAD she produced and co-produced numerous Jeff Award-nominated and winning productions. Kayla received a bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts at WWU in 2016. 

A list of dates and times for “what the Gods gave me” is at cfpa.wwu.edu. Tickets are $10 for students and $16 for general admission. They are available online, or at the box office an hour before each performance. 


Erin Elyse McVay smiles at the camera
Kayla Adams smiles at the camera in front of a pink background
painting shows a woman deep in thought; above her is a log cabin and trees under an ominous moon