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School of Theatre performs ‘Right to be Forgotten’ through Oct. 2

Two cast members on stage in "Right to be Forgotten"

The West Virginia University School of Theatre & Dance opens their production season with “Right to be Forgotten.”

A young man’s mistake at 17 haunts him online a decade later. Desperate for a normal life, he goes to extraordinary lengths to erase his indiscretion. But freedom of information is big business, and the tech companies aren’t going down without a fight. Secrets, lies and political backstabbing abound in this new drama about one man’s fierce battle to reclaim his right to privacy.

“I think this play generates a lot of questions  — about the role tech companies have in distributing our information, about who should decide privacy laws, and about the #MeToo Movement,” Director Irene Alby said. “It also discusses cyber bullying, cancel culture and many other poignant themes, while still being funny, witty and profound.  I hope the audience leaves with more questions than answers as we continue to tackle these complex problems.”

Alby said the cast and crew began working on the show in the spring. Made up of students, faculty and guest artists, the team discussed the play and themes and worked together to create a cohesive production that worked with the original script.

“The piece has a very exciting video element that is built right into the text and requires the actors to work with it, in dialogue,” Alby said. “The characters interact with articles, twitter, and texts as well as videos and live streams.”

The playwright, Sharyn Rothstein, calls for a “Wallpaper of Life" that is overwhelming.  The team created walls with windows that become Rothstein’s Wallpaper of Life, as well as TV Screens that show the texts, tweets and other messages sent through devices.  

MFA students Justin Borak, Josey Miller, Charlie Meeks and Claudia Sevilla star in the production. The BFA understudies and silent roles are performed by Juliana Hazlett, James Paxton Marner and George Wagner.

The “Right to be Forgotten” set was designed by Allison Cartmill; lighting by Hannah Kramer; and props by Alina Cannon. Stage Manager Seneca Phillips-McGraw organized every meeting and rehearsal and runs the hundreds of cues during each performance.

Phillips-McGraw is helped by Assistant Stage Manager Hayley Chamberlain. The Production Assistant for “Right to be Forgotten” is Ripley Hoffmeister and the Assistant Director is Tyler Morris. Many more School of Theatre & Dance students work on the production’s crew. 

“Right to be Forgotten” also stars two guest artists. Shammen McCune is a mainstay of the Pittsburgh Theatre scene and Upasna Barath, an actor, writer and podcaster from New York City, who received the 2020 Steppenwolf Theatre Literary Apprenticeship and Fellowship and has her own podcast, “Life Skills: How to Break Up with a Friend.”

This performance of “Right to be Forgotten” is rated PG-13 due to language and adult situations. Performances run through October 2 in the Gladys G. Davis Theatre at WVU’s Canady Creative Arts Center.

For tickets and more information, visit