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TWU Drama in darkness shines light on ‘the ugliest woman
in the world’
The depiction of one woman’s tragic life story challenges
the audience to look beyond what is presented onstage by casting
the theater into total darkness as the Texas Woman’s
University Department of Drama presents “The True History
of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana,
The Ugliest Woman in the World.”
will take place in the Margo Jones Performance Hall, located
at Oakland and Sawyer streets on TWU’s Denton campus.
Performances are scheduled at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3; at
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-5; and at 2 p.m. Sunday,
Nov. 6. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students.
The play contains adult language. For reservations or more
information, call the TWU Box Office at (940) 898-2020.
move about the theater, and limited seating is available on
the stage, pulling the audience into an environment where
the smell of popcorn and the sounds of a carnival mask a deep
(Shaun Prendergast) requested that the performance take place
in the dark,” said TWU Drama program director Sharon
Benge, director of this production. “The darkness allows
the audience to examine who is the ugliest person in this
The play tells
the real-life story of a Mexican peasant woman who was sold
to a traveling freak show in the 1800s. Julia Pastrana was
a physically deformed woman who was covered with black hair
due to a condition called hypertrichinosis. She fell in love
with Theodore Lent, the man who displayed her in his traveling
freak show. The couple married, but Julia died from complications
of childbirth in 1860. Their son, who also was covered with
hair, lived for three days.
After their deaths,
Lent had both bodies mummified and resumed the tour, continuing
to exhibit them both. Lent eventually died of a brain disease.
The mummies were believed to have been lost for many years,
but were found in Norway in 1921. They continued to be exhibited
until the mid 1970s, when Norwegian authorities intervened.
The mummies were stolen in 1979, but were recovered by police
from a dump. They currently are stored at the Oslo Forensic
Myers of Fort Worth plays the title role, and Thomas Stratton
of Krum fills the role of her husband. Other cast members
include Jamie Hogue of Brownwood, Lindsay Turman of Lamesa,
Frances Seman of Wylie, Brista Hurst of Kilgore, and Jaymes
Gregory of Fort Worth.
Tel: (940) 898-3456