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W&L Graduate Directs Play at Lime Kiln

“Spring Awakening,” a play produced by (540) Productions, is directed by Washington and Lee University graduate Jenna Worsham ’10. The play opened on Sept. 10 at Lime Kiln Theater and will run until Sept. 20. “Spring Awakening” is based upon Frank Wedekind’s play of the same name, which premiered in 1906.

When asked what part Washington and Lee played in influencing her toward directing as a career, Worsham said, “What was great about Washington and Lee for me was that it encouraged me to pursue all things I was passionate about. So when I decided to double major at the end of my sophomore year by adding theater, the department over at Lenfest welcomed me with open arms. I started directing as a junior, and knew then that directing was the perfect way for me to fulfill my love of story-telling. And that, I think, is what directing is.

“I’ve been in New York for four years now—I moved right after I graduated in 2010, mainly because the connections that W&L helped me build while a student made it possible for me to find work. I have assisted Tony- and Obie-award-winning directors, both on and off Broadway, and have directed over five productions in the city, among many other readings and workshops for companies like Yale Repertory and Primary Stages.”

Worsham said that coming back to Lexington to direct the play “was like coming home.” She believes in the mission and vision of (540) Productions and artistic directors Eileen Small ’15 and Josh Harvey ’00.

“Community theater is so important for any community, to give life to local culture and provide opportunities for local artists,” Worsham said. “Lexington has a rich artistic history, and I am so grateful that Lime Kiln is back up and running due to the generous efforts of people like Spencer McElroy. I directed ‘The Fantasticks’ there while a senior at Washington and Lee, under the guidance of the incredible Kim Renz, and it was a production that helped prepare me for moving to New York and starting a career in theater.

“Lime Kiln holds a special place in my heart, as it does for many, and returning here to create a show with 540 has reminded me why I fell in love with theater to begin with.”