Tag Archives: literature

Alumni and Current Students Swap Stories and Insights at Lit Fest

This last semester’s Literary Festival, Writing in Community, was very special.  There were so many moments of genuine community, that made us all remember why we love Millersville English.

Professor Profile: Andie Petrillo

Read more about the professors in Millersville’s English department in this Professor Profiles series!

Professor Andie Petrillo

Professor Andie Petrillo is one of the new professors to join the English department this semester. She is currently teaching ENGL 110, Section 28.

Professor Petrillo’s education journey began at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD where she received her Bachelor of Arts. “While I was there, I was a member of the French Club and starred in two plays: The Eumenides (as a Fury) and Clybourne Park (Bev/Kathy)”

After her undergrad program, Professor Petrillo attended Millersville University as a graduate student in the Master of Arts in English Program. While at MU, Professor Petrillo worked in the English office as a graduate assistant, participated in University Theatre’s Fall Musical 2018 Production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and published two of her graduate essays in MUsings: The Graduate Student Journal, and much more. Her graduate essays focus on the “New Woman” in Victorian England and the success of multi-platforms like Pemberley Digital’s “Emma Approved,” respectively.

Elsa the guinea pig visits the English department office.

Professor Petrillo is especially passionate about British Literature (“Jane Austen & James Joyce are amongst my favorite authors”) and American Literature (“F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway are some other faves”). In the future, she hopes to earn her Ph.D. in British Literature and teach British Lit as a tenured professor.

When asked about her favorite aspects of the English major, Professor Petrillo said she loves how the English major creates opportunities for reading different genres of literature and writing creatively. If she could meet any writer, past or present, Professor Petrillo thinks “it would be a tie between Jane Austen (I wrote my grad thesis on Pride and Prejudice), James Joyce (just to pick his brain), or Ernest Hemingway (because he had such a colorful life/interesting personality).” Besides English, Professor Petrillo is interested in history and foreign languages. “Growing up I had an obsession with learning about the Civil War and the Holocaust, so I was pretty interested in history too. I’m also fluent in French so foreign languages interest me too.”

Some of Professor Petrillo’s favorite past-times include reading, watching Netflix, and snuggling with her two guinea pigs named Peanut and Elsa.

Victorian Literature: “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”

Read about Dr. Baldys’ Victorian and Edwardian Literature class and their trip to see “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” starring Jeremy Kendall at the Ware Center on October 26th.

Dr. Baldys and Jeremy Kendall

The story of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is about Mr. Utterson and his friend Dr. Jekyll living in Victorian England. Various crimes and murders occur in London, all connected by a strange man named Edward Hyde. Utterson eventually finds out that Hyde is associated with Jekyll, as Jekyll states in his will that his establishment in the case of his disappearance or death should go to Hyde. When Utterson sees Jekyll, he notices that he has been getting frail and sickly, due to his addiction to a particular drug. This drug is connected to Hyde, as Jekyll takes the drug to transform into Hyde. More and more, Jekyll grows addicted to the drug, and his transformation into Hyde becomes increasingly difficult. Eventually, Hyde is accused of these various crimes, and by the end of the novella he disappears. This novella demonstrates late Victorian anxieties about science and class in the post-Darwinian era; it also reflects emerging theories about the structure of the human psyche while addressing the age-old question of how to balance the “duality” of good and evil within ourselves.

Our class read the novella a few days before the performance by Jeremy Kendall. We have also been discussing how science and religion was viewed in the Victorian period and how these concepts impacted cultural discourse and literature. Jeremy also visited with the class to discuss his choices in adapting the work and his work as an actor. Jeremy’s adaptation was interesting because it was a one-man show. He played sixteen different characters and had to vary his acting to demonstrate sixteen different voices and used pre-recorded audio tracks to represent offstage crowds. The original novella doesn’t portray any strong women characters, but he added a female character, Louisa, to his performance.

The simplistic set including the door frame on wheels really forced the audience to focus on the characters and their actions. Jeremy was able to accurately capture the essence of sixteen different people in the course of 75 minutes. Seeing the performance enhanced my understanding of the text and allowed me to visualize each character in a new way. This show sparked discussion of adaptive choices with the class.

-Maria Rovito