“The Way We Say Goodbye”: Some are sad and some are liberating


Hydee Holsapple

The cast waves goodbye at the end of their preparation for “The Way We Say Goodbye.” This show was written and directed by Donna Gay Anderson and will be performed in Reimer’s Auditorium Nov. 16-19.

Southeastern’s premiering show “The Way We Say Goodbye” written and directed by Donna Gay Anderson, was prepping for performances in Reimer’s Auditorium last night. 

This show is in celebration of SLU’s first semester with the return of the B.A. in theatre degree. Anderson’s cast consists of half current students and half alumni, making up a majority women cast of 15. Four different men will close out the play each night.

She began writing this play at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown and pondered how people say goodbye. 

“At first I thought about big goodbyes such as divorces, deaths and moving far away. Then, I started writing monologues thinking about the little goodbyes and kept writing more monologues.”

As she dug deeper into her thoughts, she became fixated on goodbyes and what they meant to people

“The ways people say goodbye, why they say goodbye and common denominators within the goodbyes. I started realizing that most goodbyes, at least the big ones, include some kind of back story that is often referenced or revealed when they are saying goodbye,” Anderson said.

The characters in the play are loosely connected, with certain lines linking them together. 

“I did not want it to be clearly defined to the audience. I wanted them to sort of figure it out. Each character has a thin connection to the character before and after them and it is very subtle, but they are all referenced,” Anderson said. 

This show will be the first onstage performance for cast member Brenna Barzenick, alumna and co-owner of Downtown Yoga. Observing her fellow actresses and the behind-the-scenes work has created a new outlook on theater for Barzenick.

Barzenick said, “I have so much respect for everyone involved. I had no idea all of the teams of people that have to come together to make this work.”

She described her character as a lady in her mid-fifties who is a daughter visiting her dying mother. 

“The daughter, me, tells her everything she has never been able to say. She has a lot of anger, resentment and bitterness towards her mom who was very controlling and her daughter never lived up to her expectations,” Barzenick explained.

She noted this character is a stretch for her because she has a wonderful mom. 

Annabelle Snow, a junior marketing major, i

s a cast member who will have her second time under the spotlight after her debut last semester with the Alpha Psi Omega show “Love/Sick.”

“I am excited for the cast, but I am personally nervous because this is only my second college show. I am nervous, but I know everybody, and myself, is going to do great. We have put in the work, effort and hours and we are ready,” Snow said.

She is ecstatic to showcase “The Way We Say Goodbye” with the cast.

Snow said, “I know for a while we have not had the theatre major itself, and the fact that it is all women that get to debut it is so great. We have such a wonderful cast and variety.”

“The Way We Say Goodbye” will be held in Reimer’s Memorial Auditorium on 305 E Charles St. in Hammond from Nov. 16-19 at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $20 and $15 for seniors/military/non-SLU students. Admission is free for Southeastern students by showing their ID at the door. 

Tickets can be purchased here.