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Past Show Playbills

Gamma Rays Performance

Supporting herself and her two daughters by taking in a decrepit old boarder, acid-tongued Beatrice Hunsdorfer wreaks a petty vengeance on everyone around her. Her older daughter, Ruth, is a pretty but highly strung girl subject to convulsions, while her younger girl, Tillie, plain and almost pathologically shy, demonstrates an intuitive gift for science. Encouraged by her teacher, Tillie conducts a botanical experiment, winning a prize at her high school. Proud but jealous, too filled with her own hurt to accept her daughter's success, Beatrice can only maim when she needs to love and deride when she intends to praise. Yet, as Tillie's experiment proves, something beautiful and full of promise can emerge from even the most barren, afflicted soil.

Gamma Rays Playbill (3,304KB)

Tiny Beautiful Things Performance

Based on the best-selling book by Cheryl Strayed and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, Tiny Beautiful Things personifies the questions and answers that “Sugar” was publishing online from 2010-2012. When the struggling writer was asked to take over the unpaid, anonymous position of advice columnist, Strayed used empathy and her personal experiences to help those seeking guidance for obstacles both large and small. Tiny Beautiful Things is a play about reaching when you’re stuck, healing when you’re broken, and finding the courage to take on the questions which have no answers.

“Tiny Beautiful Things is about the endangered art of listening to – and really hearing and responding to – other people…it works beautifully as a sustained theatrical exercise in empathy” – The New York Times

Tiny Beautiful Things Playbill (3,023KB)

Top Girls Performance

Marlene has been promoted to managing director of the ‘Top Girls’ employment agency and is celebrating with some distinguished guests. Her “if you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be” party is attended by women in legend or history who offer perspectives on maternity and ambition. In a time warp, these ladies are then transformed into her co-workers, clients, and relatives as we transition to London in the Thatcher years. Marlene, like her famous guests, has had to pay a price to ascend from proletarian roots to the executive suite. In many ways she’s become, figuratively speaking, a male oppressor: even coaching her female clients to adopt odious male traits. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, This seminal play of the modern theatre poses complex questions about feminism, power, motherhood, agency, and the meaning of success.

Top Girls Playbill (5,595KB)

Silent Sky Performance

When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.

Silent Sky Playbill (3,082KB)

Animal Farm Performance

"Some are more equal than others." The animals on a farm drive out their master and take over and run the farm for themselves. The experiment is successful, except that someone has to take the deposed farmer's place. Leadership devolves upon the pigs, which are cleverer than the rest of the animals. Unfortunately, their character is not equal to their intelligence.

Animal Farm Playbill (3,822KB)

Lonely Planet Performance

This compassionate play reveals friendship and fear in the age of AIDS. Jody is in his forties and runs a map store. Not one for the outside world, he stays in his store all the time. His friend, Carl is in his late thirties and has been bringing chairs of dead friends into Jody's store and leaving them there. When Jody needs to take an AIDS test, Carl tries to convince him it is not only okay to leave the store, but also that he must take responsibility for his life. If he doesn't, he will join the set of chairs that Carl has taken great pains to place in the right spots around the store. Jody finally leaves the map store to take his HIV test and return to find Carl sitting in a chair of his own. With this gesture, we know that Carl has joined the many of their friends who have died, but now Jody must take Carl's place as the caretaker.

Lonely Planet Playbill (4,209KB)

A Doll House Performance

Henrik Ibsen's landmark 1879 drama of marriage and the individual is transported into the world of 1950's television. As Torvald Helmer and his wife Nora prepare to celebrate his managerial promotion at Christmas, a pair of visitors, Christine Linde and Nils Krogstad, separately knock on their door. As Nora faces her past and reexamines her present, she realizes her home is not the idyllic sitcom she imagined it to be. Before she can unlock her future, though, she must slam shut the door on her black and white world.

A Doll House Playbill (874KB)

Joan the Girl of Arc Performance

When Joan D'Arc, a shepherd in Domremy, France, 1420s, hears a voice while tending sheep one day, she can't believe what—and whom—she's hearing. But the voice is joined by others who claim they're saints and ask her to go to war for France. Now she must convince her father, her friends and her priest that she is telling the truth. But no one believes her. Finally, she sets out on her own, determined to be believed, and proves her visions to the leader of the French army. He helps her get safely to Paris, where once again she must convince the prince of France and his corrupt advisors. She instills courage in the prince to stand up for what he believes, and he gives her the entire French army to lead against the British. In a suit of armor made especially for her, she leads her soldiers to win the Hundred Years' War, using the wits and methods of the real teenage girl that she was. But when she refuses to deny the voices she heard, she is sentenced to death.

Joan the Girl of Arc Playbill (1,677KB)

Home for the Holidays - the Stay at Home Edition Performance

A heartwarming, family friendly show; highlighting the historical, traditional, and true meaning of our holidays. Come celebrate and learn from our traditions - together, while we are apart.

Home for the Holidays - the Stay at Home Edition Playbill (746KB)

Unraveling Magicians Performance

After discovering a book of spells, the royal family of Gwynedd dives headfirst into a world of magic. When they trigger a terrible curse, Gwydion, the family recluse, is forced home to spearhead the cleanup. To return to his beloved isolation, he must break the curse or risk permanent entanglement in his family’s magical mishaps. Adapted from the Mabinogion, a collection of medieval Welsh folktales, Unraveling Magicians will celebrate its debut performance at SVSU as a pre-recorded audio drama. Without visual elements, the story will be told purely through the use of dialogue, music, sound effects, and various audio recording techniques.

Unraveling Magicians Playbill (693KB)

No. 6 Performance

In 2001, the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of the police put the city of Cincinnati on edge, resulting in a five-day riot that set the citizens of the city against the police force. During the third day of the riots, the Anderson family, in a small apartment above their family-owned dry cleaners, prepare for dinner and the citywide curfew. Ella, the mother of the family, realizes her son, Felix, isn't home. Felix's twin sister, Felicia, who is obsessed with dinosaurs, reveals he has gone to find the family food for the night. Felix returns with provisions and a knocked-out white man, Kelly. As the riots grow and move closer to the small apartment and business, we discover why Felix and Felicia have not left home, the truth that Kelly has been keeping to himself, and Felicia's theory of what will cause extinction number six.

No. 6 Playbill (1,109KB)

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Department Chair

David Rzeszutek


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