The P.e. Teacher

By Carolyn Gage

Hollins Theatre Institute

Directed by Tatiana Durant


The P.E. Teacher by Carolyn Gage and directed by Tatiana Durant explored gun violence, racism, homophobia, and mental illness in school settings. For the production, I worked as both the Sound Designer/Engineer and the Projections Designer/Engineer. 

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Tatiana and I wanted to tell a story that was relevant on campus. That semester it was revealed that many Hollins alumnae had performed in blackface while at Hollins in the past. All of the alumnae defended themselves and refused to acknowledge what they'd done. The president of the university at the time decided to take the yearbooks that featured the evidence of students in blackface out of circulation. Hollins was in international news because of this scandal. This set of events sparked several protests on campus which inspired Tatiana, who now runs a non-profit called No Justice, No Peace, to protest through theatre. The protestors on campus created a list of demands that they wanted the University to respect that we incorporated into the Projections Design. A printed poster of the list could also been seen on the walls of the set.


For the Sound Design, I created an abstract soundscape that was meant to establish an uncomfortable environment for the audience. I worked with Tatiana to establish the symbolism and idea behind each sound cue. One scene featured a teacher having a mental breakdown in a teacher's lounge. For this scene I created an electronic ambience soundscape that underscored the monologue. As soon as the racist nurse enters the underscore becomes more intense. Another scene featured the new PE Teacher being wrongly accused of murder and fleeing the scene of the crime.   

PE Teacher Breakdown
00:00 / 01:28
PE Teacher Dana Escapes
00:00 / 00:47

QLab Programming

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PE Teacher #1.png