CMU Summer Theater Company prepares for opening night, performance tour


Detroit junior Rebecca Rose Mims and Flat Rock junior Karinna Taylor perform a scene during a dress rehearsal of A Fox on the Fairway June 19 in Bush Theatre.

Twelve theater students have spent the past five weeks preparing two shows to perform in Central and Western Michigan.

The Central Michigan University Summer Theatre Company will perform two shows this weekend. 

"California Suite," written by Neil Simon and directed by theatre and dance faculty member Elaine DiFalco Daugherty, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20 and Saturday, June 22 in Bush Theatre.

"A Fox on the Fairway" will be performed 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 21 and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23 in Bush Theatre. The show is written by Ken Ludwig and directed by theatre and dance Chairperson Steve Berglund.

Tickets can be purchased from Ticket Central in advance online or over the phone at (989) 774-3045. Student and senior tickets are $7 and general admission tickets are $11. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $13.

The Summer Theatre program is a comprehensive program that teaches theater students every aspect of putting together a production, both on stage and behind the scenes. 

Auditions and interviews for the program take place in February, and roughly 12 students are chosen each year. Berglund said the program is very competitive, and choosing the right group is not always easy.

"Putting together a company is very different from casting a show," Berglund said. "You need people who can work well together."

The company spends five and a half weeks in the summer putting together two shows. During that period, the students rehearse 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., six days per week. Berglund said all 12 students are involved in every part of the production for both shows. Most of them act on stage and work behind the scenes.

Berglund said the group alternates each show, so crew members have to strike the stage and set up for the other play every day. 

"The students need to get training to create different worlds in the same space," he said.

After the shows at CMU, the group will spend the next two weeks touring and performing July 5-6 at the Beaver Island Community Center and July 12-13 at The Playhouse at White Lake in Whitehall, Michigan.

"Touring is one of the very unique things about this program," Berglund said. "It gives them the opportunity to learn to adapt to different spaces."