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November 15, 2022

SVSU presents ‘The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds’

By Zoey Schwab

Two women on stage rehearsing play

Saginaw Valley State University’s second theatre performance of the season tells the story of motherhood, science and beauty in the play “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.” Written by Paul Zindel, the play shows the journey of an embittered mother raising her two children, whom she must support by taking in a decrepit old boarder that wreaks havoc on the family.  

Paige Tuckerman, a first-year theatre major from Dewitt, plays “Tillie,” a shy girl who has a love for all things science 

“My experience has been absolutely incredible,” Tucker said. In the short time I’ve been working with everyone, I’ve learned more than I ever could have imagined,” Tuckerman said. “I’ve learned how to be a better actress and a better person. I’m having a blast with the experience.” 

Tuckerman urged the community to see the performance.  

The show is a unique experience. There are so many hidden lessons within the show. I think everyone could get something different from it.” 

Director Peggy Mead-Finizio added, “There are things that every audience member will be able to connect with as well as moments that will serve as conversation starters. In some ways, the play challenges the viewer with the character’s actions and then brings it back to relatable moments. 

“It is a play that I have wanted to work on since I first read it in high school,” she added. The storytelling feels very timeless with the characters interactions and circumstances.”  

“The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” features an all-female cast 

  • Lexie Shultz, a theatre and music major from Saginaw, plays “Beatrice. 

  • Zoe Gilbert, a theatre major from Hemlock, portrays “Ruth.”  

  • Lila Duvendack, a psychology major from Saginaw, plays “Nanny. 

  • Daija Thornton, a pre-health major from Lansing, plays “Janice. 

  • Paige Tuckerman, a theatre major from Dewitt portrays “Tillie.”  

Performances will be held Wednesday, Nov. 16 through Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at or in person at the SVSU box office. 

Note: Please be advised that “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” contains strong language and adult themes. This play is recommended for audiences 13 and above.