"Roses Are Red" cast membersThe University of Northern Iowa’s Interpreters Theatre is inviting fans of true crime podcasts to “Roses Are Red,” a live performance radio play, at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 7 at the UNI Interpreters Theatre, Lange 040.

With only sounds and voices to guide the audience, this chilling episode of the fictional podcast “Crime Shape Shifters” follows protagonist Cayenne Pepper. 

On Valentine’s Day morning, Pepper wakes up to find a rose and poem outside her door, which happens to be the town's notorious serial killer’s calling card. The hosts join the victims of these horrid crimes to retell their story for all to enjoy.

This radio play is written and directed by UNI senior Emma Kossayian, who is majoring in communication-theatre teaching and English teaching. Although Kossayian directed two original one-act plays for the Interpreters Theatre last spring, this will be her first time directing a more extensive play. It is also her first time directing a radio play.

“When the Interpreters Theatre offered me another director position for my last semester, I knew this was the perfect time to put on this show,” said Kossayian. “This cast and crew are an amazing team that I could not do the show without. I am honored to have this experience be my final hurrah before I go off to student teach in the spring.”

Kossayian said she fell in love with the radio play format for its accessibility, allowing the theatre experience to be delivered to the audience through their headphones. She wrote the first draft of the play as a 10th grader, but revisited the play when she came to UNI and learned more about radio plays from a professor.

This will be the season opener for the Interpreters Theatre. Tickets, which are available via Eventbrite, are free but there is limited seating.


Danielle Dick McGeough, director, Interpreters Theatre, 319-273-2048, danielle.mcgeough@uni.edu.