Northeastern student Lou Conrad, who is studying Theatre and Media & Screen Studies, has landed a starring role in the Apollinaire Theatre production Hir by New York playwright Taylor Mac. Lou, who is passionate about writing and filmmaking, will play the protagonist, Max, “a [transgender] teen genderqueer radical philosopher,” who uses ze/hir pronouns. Ze instead of he or she, and hir instead of her or him, and therein lies the meaning behind the title of the play.
The plot of Hir does not focus on the play’s trans character, but instead, follows a dysfunctional family as they navigate new dynamics and cope with traumatic memories. This incredibly rich and complex plot was what drew Lou in, as well as the opportunity to professionally play a non-binary character.
“There really aren’t that many known plays and stories with parts like this that are out there right now, much less ones that aren’t about a transperson’s transition,” said Lou. “I didn’t know if I’d ever get to do something like this.”
Lou first heard about this opportunity from Antonio Ocampo-Guzman, Associate Professor and Interim Department Chair for Theatre at Northeastern University; he knew the theatre company was looking for someone like the character Max [non-binary] in real life to play the role.
“I am so blessed to have gotten this amazing opportunity to play someone like me,” Lou added.
Lou has been able to gain professional experience during their time at Northeastern. They have been in two Department of Theatre’s plays: Three Sisters as Ferapont and Urinetown as Mr. McQueen. Through these on-campus productions, Lou learned about the incredible discipline that is required to be in theatre – and what it takes to be a good collaborator and carry oneself professionally. These experiences helped prepare Lou for their audition for Max in Hir.
“I’m very grateful to all my teachers who have gotten me this far in my acting training at Northeastern,” Lou said. “The thing that made me want to be a Theatre major at Northeastern was the program’s flexibility. It was all about what I wanted and how and what I wanted to study. I was going to get the same rigorous training I wanted but I was also going to be able to pursue my other interests.”
I hope to one day get to pursue all my interests in the name of making media more accessible for queer audiences, especially youth. I want to create media that helps people feel ok with themselves.
Congratulations, Lou, on this incredible accomplishment! Learn more/buy tickets here.