A Piece in the Making


Leela Wainio ('24)

The play A Piece of My Heart displays the lives of women serving in the Vietnam War. It was the first Bishop’s production back in the theater after over a year of virtual and outside performances.

Performing arts are back in the Bishop’s theater! After a year of productions limited to the homes of actors (25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee) or outside (Chicago), the fall play A Piece of My Heart and the Halloween Show are returning to the theater.   

In A Piece of My Heart, Ben Hollingshead (‘24) portrayed various American men. He said the story was, “A great tribute and look into the lives and the heroic actions of the many female nurses and women in the Vietnam War… stories that really are not told enough.”

For some of the actors, it was their first Bishop’s production. Mira Singh (‘25) brought Steele, an Enlisted Specialist, to the stage. She explained, “I’ve had experience with larger productions, but never a play this intense before. Keeping energy and motivation was definitely a challenge I haven’t had before.” 

Rehearsing for the show took two months. James Stutts (‘23), who portrays several American men, felt, “scheduling was the only problem.” Mira also said, “It could’ve gone on forever for us. We didn’t have much time, but I think it didn’t feel rushed, even though it wasn’t much time.” Riley Brunson (‘25), who played Mary Joe, a musician who entertains women and men, said, “I wish we hadn’t had more days off in September. We could’ve had more time.”

When asked if there was anything they would change about their performances or the play, there was a consensus of satisfaction. Sophia Gleeson (‘24) played Sissy, a nurse who becomes a mother. “Some days it was hard to get into character and focus my energy into portraying really serious and sensitive things they were going through… But on the days that I could get into it, it felt satisfying, and I was proud we could tell such an important story,” she explained. Ben had a different approach, saying, “I always like to say that I’m never fully satisfied with my own performance in a show because it adds this feeling that I need to strive for better.” 

Collaboration between actors pushes the production forward. Riley said, “All of our characters were very separate but we worked together on delivery of lines.” Mira agreed. “Our cast definitely created a bond throughout the process,” she replied.

Finally, the actors had many people to thank for their collaboration and focus. “I would like to thank the tech[nical] crew. Since [Costume Design teacher] Ms. Moroney and [Technical Design teacher] Mr. Paulin were absent for some of the production, they really stepped up,” said James. Ben complimented the adults involved, “[Theater teacher] Mrs. Howard was very open minded and Mr. Paulin and the tech crew are extremely talented; they built that fabulous set. Ms. Moroney and the entire costume crew [were incredible as well]… costumes were on point.” Sophia praised, “[I would thank] Everyone. The actors invested so much into the show, and the tech crew help[ed] us with that and [were] always there for us.” Mira had similar praise, saying that she’d thank “Every single person. Without any of them it wouldn’t have happened.