Department of Theatre Arts

Festival Playhouse is proud to announce our 56th Season - Herstory: Forgotten Female Figures

Fall 2019:

November 7 - 10, 2019 

Spitfire Grill, Book and Music by James Valcq and book by Frank Alley 

Based on the 1996 movie of the same name, this musical follows the story of a young woman named Percy Talbott trying to fit back into society after being released from jail. upon arriving in the small town of Gilead, WI, she is met with harshness and criticism. She gets a job as a waitress at The Spitfire Grill and has to navigate all of the prejiduces against her. 

Winter 2020:

February 13-16, 2020

Senior Performance Series TBA

February 27- March 1, 2020

Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson

Based on the true story of Henrietta Leavitt, Silent Sky is about a group of female astronomers at the Harvard Observatory at the turn of the 20th century. Henrietta Leavitt discovered hundreds of stars and space phenomenon, but many of her discoveries were not taken seriously after her death. This is the story of a woman determined to further her field, no matter what anyone else says. 

Spring 2020:

May 14-17, 2020

Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes

The winner of the Pulizer Prize for Drama in 2012, Water by the Spoonful is a beautiful play about family and where you find it. Odessa Ortiz, AKA "Haikumom," moderates a chatroom for recovering drug addicts and creates an online family network while her real-life family falls apart.  


Why do theatre? - Our Mission

 Since you're reading this page, we can assume you have some interest in theatre. Maybe you ran a spotlight in your high school musical and would like to do more technical theatre work occasionally just for the fun of it. Or maybe you have already decided to be an actor and you want to perform in every Festival Playhouse mainstage play, every student directed Dungeon Theatre play, and every directing class scene in your time at "K."

.... Whatever your interest, talent, and level of experience, there is a place for you in our program. We NEED you in order to do our productions—as assistant directors, stage managers, scenery builders, and much, much more. Our theatre program is about the artistic growth of our students. And we are very proud of their accomplishments.

.... And you know what? It doesn't matter if you intend to be a theatre major or just dabble in it because you enjoy it, you NEED us! You have probably heard from any number of people that the "theatre is not practical." Nothing could be further from the truth. The study of theatre is enormously practical—for all who really want to get the best from their liberal arts education. Where else can you learn such things as commitment, time management, getting along with others, working under deadlines? The list goes on and on. These skills are for life—there won't be a field you enter where you won't need to learn how to do these things. Theatre can teach them to you well.

.... And where else can you study literature, art , politics, music, history, and psychology where the result of that research culminates in a performance? Theatre is a crucial part of the liberal arts education.

.... But I don't need to convince you of that, and we know that you plan to get involved—by auditioning for a play, working on a crew, joining the college improv group, or taking theatre classes. You'll be contributing, but also helping yourself as an educated person.

Welcome! We are glad you are here!

Ed Menta

Ph.D., James B. Stone Professor

Professor Emeritus of Theatre Arts

Check out our Faculty and Staff Page and our Facilites Pages to learn more about the people and places in the Kalamazoo College Theatre Arts Department!