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Arts and Entertainment

Dee Abdullah gets ‘Ugly’ for Three Bone show at Duke Theatre
Directs 'Ugly Lies the Bone' at Spirit Square
 
Published Saturday, January 25, 2020 9:19 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

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Directing allows Dee Abdullah to have her hands in telling every part of the story.


She is directing the Three Bone Theatre Productions production for the Charlotte premier of “Ugly Lies the Bone” at Spirit Square’s Duke Energy Theatre Jan. 23-25 and Jan. 30-Feb.1.

Three Bone Theatre Founding Artistic Director Robin Tynes-Miller approached Abdullah about the piece a year ago. Abdullah fell in love with her energy, and knew she had to be involved with the piece.

“When I sat and met with her, I just truly loved Robin’s energy and spirit,” Abdullah said. “She was just the sweetest person.”

Tynes-Miller asked Abdullah how she would approach the story. Abdullah tackles each layer from a place of empowerment, which means bringing the story of a recently discharged soldier—Jess—in “Ugly Lies the Bone,” which won the 2014 Woodward/Newman Drama Award, 2015 Laurents/Hatcher Special Citation for Excellence, as wells as the 2016 Kesserling Prize for Playwriting. Returning home to Florida from deployment in Afghanistan, Jess grapples with the horrors of war and changes at home. She uses virtual reality video game therapy to cope.  

“I look at directing as the story the way I want to really see from the perspective of the characters and the actors,” Abdullah said. “I am really interested in seeing things from the point of view of the character and having them empowered to really tell their story the way they need to tell their story. I try as much as possible to help the actors remove themselves, and give the character the access to all they possess to tell their story.”

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Abdullah has worked in all facets of theater, from costumes to acting to directing and loves it all.

“I’m old school, and I’ve been around for a long time,” she said. “I’ve worked in every aspect of the theater.”

Abdullah considers the stage a place where one can be all he or she wants to be.

“I have always had an interest in telling stories, and I was always involved in some way or another, but I found in my early 20s, theater was a great way of expressing all of that stuff that was not safe to express in the real world,” Abdullah said. “I always looked at theater as a place where I could really tell all the stories the way I want to tell them, without having to experience the criticisms in your real life. It’s hard to play out those stories in real without consequences.”

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