SCOM Professor Helps Direct and Produce Theater Production at Mickee Faust

Donna NuddDr. Donna Marie Nudd, Professor in the School of Communication and founding member of The Mickee Faust Club, served as the Executive Producer and Co-Director of the musical The Cursed House of Ravensmadd at The Mickee Faust Club this past semester.

The Mickee Faust Club is an arts/activist Community Theater in Tallahassee that is open to everyone– but particularly welcomes people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those in reduced economic circumstances. 

The Cursed House of Ravensmadd is an original, queer, feminist, musical comedy by Faust Artistic Director Terry Galloway and writing partner Stacey Abbott. It’s based upon Galloway’s gothic novel skits, “The Women of Ravensmadd,” tracing the poor, pathetic life of the thirty-six year-old orphan, Clara, and her sickly younger sister, Pained. The show features a variety of musical styles from 1980s’s pop ballads to square dancing hoedowns, composed by Peter Stopchinski.

What Helps The Help CHoR Scene
“What Helps the Help,” scene from The Cursed House of Ravensmadd.

Dr. Nudd, along with her wife Terry Galloway and a couple of friends, started Mickee Faust 35 years ago in the back room of a warehouse on Gaines Street here in Tallahassee. They started off with smaller performances and sketches, but have since moved Mickee Faust to the Railroad Square Art District where they have a much larger space for their yearly productions and events. 

“My favorite part of Mickee Faust as a director is the rehearsal periods because of the joy of discovery. We are such a collaborative company, and the actors get to have strong opinions on certain scenes, so it’s not really traditional directing,” says Dr. Nudd. “I love rehearsals because I get to witness the fine tuning and the journey the actors go through in discovering their characters.”

The company’s collective spirit also infuses the writing. During the pandemic, the company held multiple read throughs of various drafts of The Cursed House of Ravensmadd script so company members could give feedback.  

When asked about her favorite things to come out of the script writing workshops that they had, Dr. Nudd said, “The major insight that we had from the workshops was a marvelous discussion on how we were going to end the play. In the genre of Shakespeare and in musical theatre, there are often so many marriages at the end, but we somewhat collectively decided for our Victorian heroine to not get married at the end of the musical, because why should she?”

Cursed House of RavensmaddSamantha Sumler, who plays Regima (pictured above, center) in The Cursed House of Ravensmadd and is a CCI alumna, says that “Being part of a Faust production, you see the art of collaboration. No person, part, or role is found more important than the other. Not the lead, not the director, not the tech. We’re all an integral part of the process. It’s not one person’s show – it’s ours. That brings a sense of community, and a drive to succeed together. We come together not for the sake of the show, but the sake of art, for the company. Many of us have “found family” here, and I’d say that’s my favorite part of being involved in Faust productions: the collaborative family working together for art.”

The Mickee Faust Club hosts many events throughout the year including their annual Queer as Faust Festival to celebrate Pride month, their original Fall production, monthly First Friday events with Railroad Square, the Fifth of Comedy Radio Hour on FSU’s campus radio station V89, and many original cabarets. To check out all of the Mickee Faust events, click here!