WT Theatre Season to Close with Comedy ‘Bull in a China Shop’


CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University Theatre will close its season with a comedy about a pair of turn-of-the-century firebrands.

“Bull in a China Shop” by Bryna Turner will be staged at 7:30 p.m. March 29 to April 1 and 2:30 p.m. April 1 and 2 in the Happy State Bank Studio Theatre inside the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex on WT’s Canyon campus.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors, children and non-WT students, and free for WT students, faculty and staff with their BuffGold card.

Turner’s script uncovers the little-known story of Mary Woolley, a suffragette who served as president of Mount Holyoke College from 1901 to 1937, and her lesbian partner Jeannette Marks, who also taught at the college.

“This tells the stories of their lives—40 years’ worth in 90 minutes—through their own real-life letters,” said Callie Hisek, director and WT’s Royal Brantley Professor of Theatre. “These women were lost to history, so this is a real excavation.”

The title refers to Woolley’s reputation as an activist who freely spoke her mind.

“She’s very stubborn, she very much wants to have her way, but she also understands that she has to obey the ways of the world,” said B. Herring, a junior theater design & technology and acting major from Lubbock, who plays Woolley. “She has to choose between being stubborn and being a fiery revolutionary or maintaining her poise as president and going about it in a more proper way, I suppose.”

Marks was no wallflower, either.

“She’s a real fiery person, for sure,” said Angelica Pantoja, a sophomore acting major from Lubbock. “She always stands up for what she believes in without the fear of any consequences and without fear of judgment, as well. Before this show, I didn’t know who these women were, so learning about them is amazing.”

Hisek said the fast-paced show contains comedy, romance and drama: “It’s life.”

“They saw some turbulent times in their relationship, but you see why they work,” Hisek said.

The cast also includes Sanai Lowe, a senior musical theatre major from McKinney, as Dean Welsh; Leighson Selman, a junior musical theatre major from Amarillo, as Felicity; and Signe Elder, a senior musical theatre major from Lubbock; as Pearl.

Understudies are Kenzie Dennis, a senior theatre major from Dalhart (Woolley); Camila Gutierrez, a freshman musical theatre major from Austin (Marks); Rylee Bass, a sophomore theatre major from Brownsboro (Dean Welsh); Isabella Bailey, a freshman theatre major from Little Elm (Felicity); and Tucker McCann, a sophomore theatre major from San Angelo (Pearl).

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.



Photo: Angelica Pantoja, left, and B. Herring play suffragettes Jeannette Marks and Mary Woolley in West Texas A&M University Theatre’s “Bull in a China Shop,” on stage March 29 to April 2.