Summer Theatre presents three plays about love, life and humor


The University Theatre will be hosting three comedy-centric shows for its 2017 Summer Theatre program, taking place between Wednesday, June 21 and Sunday, June 25. 

Beginning in 1987, the Summer Theatre program features a small group of students who work as the sole cast and crew behind the production of three plays. Each cast member gets more experience with things like set design, costume design and the backstage work that goes behind a play, in addition to their roles as performers.   

Twelve students are chosen during a competitive audition process in mid-May. Once selected, they spend the following six weeks putting together the plays. The small size of the crew makes it necessary for each student to multitask — an actor or actress in one play will do backstage work for another play.

Tim Connors, a professor at Central Michigan University and director Twain by the Tale, one of the plays being performed, said the students benefit from the need to be flexible and playing multiple roles across three performances. 

"It's all about the variety of the experiences and challenges they get from the different plays and the different venues," Connors said. "They have to learn how to adapt to different spaces, and how to sustain a play over a much long period of time than when they perform during the school year." 

The cast of the 2017 Summer Theatre program at Central Michigan University. 

The plays being performed include:

For the Love of Juliet! Written by Luigi Jannuzzi, directed by Elaine Daugherty. Performances are Wednesday, June 21 and Saturday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m.

  • A whimsical comedy about a young woman performing in a rendition of Romeo and Juliet, who must make a choice between a real man, an imaginary man and herself.

LOVE/SICK Written by John Cariani, directed by Steve Berglund. Performed on Friday, June 23, at 7:30 p.m. 

  • Nine short scenes, each dealing with the joy and heartache that comes from being in love. 

Twain by the Tale Written by Dennis Snee, directed by Tim Connors. Performance are Thursday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 25 at 2:00 p.m.

  • A celebration of the wit and humor of Mark Twain, told through several vignettes, monologues and short stories.

All performances will be held in the Bush Theatre located in Moore Hall. LOVE/SICK will have a revival performance in September to kick off the University Theatre's Fall season.  

In the first week of July, after completing the five-show run at Central Michigan University, the cast will begin a tour that takes them to Beaver Island and Whitehall, where they will perform five times each. 

Connors said while the Theatre doesn't always see their largest turn-out at CMU, because of the smaller number of students on campus during the summer, the performances at the Howmet Playhouse in Whitehall and the Beaver Island Community Center Theatre tend to draw in large crowds.

More information about the plays, venues and ticket prices can be found on the University Theatre's website.