Theatre Students Bring Life to a ‘Dying City’ On Stage

Senior musical theatre major Marcella Alba is directing a play titled “Dying City,” playing Nov. 6, 8 and 9 at Sam Houston State University.

“Dying City” was originally written by Christopher Shinn, an American playwright who graduated from NYU. Shinn’s play “Dying City” was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for the drama genre.

The time frame of the play is set between the years 2004 and 2005 in New York City, where the fall of the twin towers on 9/11 is a cloud that hangs over the city and its people. The war in Iraq is still going and people are still grieving. A woman who has just lost her husband is struggling to gain the strength to move on and overcome her grief, until she sees his twin brother a year later.

In Alba’s take on the play, there will be only two main actors. Emmy Smith will play a widow, and Joshua Mcmahan will be playing a set of twins, the late husband of the widow and his brother.

“This story is about moving on and dealing with grief and how manipulation, deception and the past all affect relationships both platonic, familial and romantic,” Alba said. “Each character has something that people can relate to.”

This play will not only give Alba the chance to get directorial experience, but it will also give her the chance to put this on her resume for future job opportunities.

“I have been uplifted and humbled in the process of making this play, and I have gained so much from it,” Alba said. “I’m so happy to have gotten this opportunity to not only showcase my work but the work of my team as well.”

The play will show on Nov. 6, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Showcase Theatre. Tickets can be bought at

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