/ Theatre Department

Ordinary Days

by Adam Gwon

Streaming from the DeWitt Main Theatre

  • April 16–17, 22–24| 7:30 p.m.
  • April 18 | 2 p.m.

Poster for Ordinary Days with silhouettes of people and flyers and production detailsWelcome to the virtual program for Hope College Theatre's production of Ordinary Days. Please enjoy the performance!

This musical takes place in New York City, 2005.

There will be no intermission.

Production Team
Director Daina Robins
Musical Director Sarah VandenBrink
Lighting, Scenic, and Properties Designer Eric Van Tassell
Costume Designer Michelle Bombe
Sound Designer Ken Chamberlain
Accompanist Jane Bosko
Technical Director Stephen Krebs
Costume Shop Manager Darlene Veenstra
Stage Manager Annika Dekker*
*denotes student

Performances: April 16, 18 and 23

Warren Sam Joachim
Deb  Emi Herman
Jason Grant McKenzie
Claire Cameron Baron

Performances: April 17, 22 and 24

Warren Sam Joachim
Deb  Madison Meeron
Jason Grant McKenzie
Claire Emma Clark
Assistant  Stage Managers Abby Doonan, Cecilia Casper
Stage Management Supervisor Reagan Chesnut
Scenery Technicians

Emily Borden, Adam Chamness, Beata Huntington, Kaitlyn Lee, Declan Rolfe, Hailey Schumann, Gabriel Swanson, Luke Van Haitsma

Properties Director Carole Chee
Properties Assistant Tim Embertson
Scenic Painting Kristin Underhill
Lighting and Sound Technicians Emily Castro, Kelsie Cavanaugh, Megan Chan, Parker Cote, Eleanor Deakin, Caitlyn Enright, Safia Hattab, Katherine Hayduk, Alaina Hempel, Beata Huntington, Adrienne Johnson, Mackenzie Kalinowski, Emily King, Fara Ling, Vivien Mickels, Kallen Mohr, Houston Patton, Zachary Pickle, Seth Ralph, Grace Reetz, Gabriela Rose, Catherine Teugh, Katherine Tracy, Emma Walilko
Assistant Lighting Designer Mackenzie Kalinowski
Master Electrician Eric Van Tassell
Light Board Operator Megan Chan
Spotlight Operators Katherine Hayduk, Mackenzi Kalinowski, Stephen Krebs
Sound Board Operator Adrienne Johnson
Costume Shop Staff Cosette Kinney, Fara Ling, Valerie Dien
Director of Design and Production for the Performing Arts Erik Alberg
Director of Photography Eric Van Tassell
Camera Operators Carole Chee, Parker Cote, Fara Ling, Emma Walilko
Ticket Office Manager Michael Howes
Publicity Staff Emma Clark, Annika Dekker, Isabella Gaetjens-Oleson, Emi Herman, Leslie Olivarez, Rachel Scott, Emma Walilko
Lobby Dramaturgical Boards Emma Clark, Annika Dekker, Rachel Scott
Poster Design Public Affairs and Marketing
Director's Note

It had me at the title – Ordinary Days.

How we all wish for those – after a year+ of Covid protocols and precautions. How we yearn for “ordinary” face-to-face conversations and gatherings and celebrations.

Adam Gwon’s musical portrays both the challenges and the joys of those ordinary days. 

The joy of sharing a coffee date with a friend, of taking the time really to see a painting, of appreciating the quirks and eccentricities and uniqueness of our dearest friends and family members. 

Simultaneously, it examines the challenge of living in the ordinary when we aspire to accomplish big things and find the big picture of our life’s journey, when we want to flourish beyond our usual habits and routines and discover the greater purpose of our existence.

For me, the piece reminds me to cherish what I have and what is worth my investment.  It also invites me to dig deeper and look more closely at what is possible as well as what might be right in front of me.

As we move (I hope) out of “full-throttle pandemic mode” over the next few months, may we strike a new and healthy balance between the big and the small, immediate details and long-range perspective, the significant and the ordinary.

Daina Robins

P.S.  Given the need to produce a safe, small musical in these extraordinary times while still offering our talented students substantial performance opportunities, I double-cast the female roles in Ordinary Days. Come and see BOTH sets of women perform by attending a second performance!

Land Acknowledgement
Together we acknowledge that we gather as Hope College on the traditional land of the Peoria, Potawatomi, Ojibwa and Odawa Peoples, past and present. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations. As a community, we recognize the ever-present systemic inequities that stem directly from past wrongdoings. We commit to respecting and reconciling this long history of injustice, as well as committing to be better stewards of this land that we inhabit.
Author's Note

by Adam Gwon

In the fall of 2006, I had at least two thoughts spinning around in my brain. The first, as I tried to jumpstart a writing career by running down every path I could find, was: “When on earth will all of this start to add up?” The second, upon winning a fellowship with the Dramatists Guild, was: “What on earth am I going to write now?” 

Luckily, I had the good sense to fuse those two thoughts together, and Ordinary Days was born.

Ordinary Days tells the stories of four people struggling to connect. It’s made up of pieces that, like its characters, reveal themselves to be part of a much bigger story than we might have imagined. It’s about realizing that the pieces of our lives, as jumbled as they may seem, do fit together, even if we have to shift our perspective to see it. “When on earth will all of this start to add up?” It already does.

Adam Gwon

by Emma Clark

Adam Gwon is a contemporary musical theatre composer and lyricist based in New York City. He has written the scores for a variety of productions, such as Scotland, PA, String, Cake Off, Cloudlands, and Ordinary Days. His projects have been translated into at least five languages, with productions being staged across six different continents. Gwon has also received a variety of awards for his work, including the West Playhouse New Musical Award, the Kleban Award, the Richard Rodgers Award and more. He has also been commissioned to write music for playhouses such as Roundabout Theatre Company, the Kimmel Center and Playwrights Horizons.

According to The New York Times, Gwon’s career started almost by fluke when one of his theatre professors at New York University heard him playing around on the piano. The professor encouraged Gwon to keep experimenting with music, and the composer eventually won the Dramatist Guild Fellowship. This fellowship gave him the opportunity to study under Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who wrote the music and score for Ragtime. It was during this time that Gwon began working on Ordinary Days, the musical that officially kick-started his writing career when it was chosen by Roundabout Underground.

The New York Times was quick to praise his production, calling Gwon “a promising newcomer to our talent-hungry musical theater.” The Times goes on to say, “Mr. Gwon writes crisp, fluid and often funny lyrics that reflect the racing minds of the four New Yorkers on a nervous search for their immediate futures.”

Ordinary Days saw much success upon its premiere. Theatres around the globe continue to showcase the musical production. A few years after Ordinary Days saw its close, Gwon began work on the score for his next project, a musical version of the 2001 film Scotland, PA. The story displays a darkly comedic portrayal of Macbeth set to a 70s groove.

Adam Gwon lives with his partner, John Wascavage, in New York City, and plans to continue writing for as long as he can. As he says in an interview with Alexis Soloski of The New York Times, “I plan to just keep myself busy writing musicals. That seems to be the thing that gets me through.”


Special Thanks

The Theatre Department would like to thank these individuals and offices for helping to make this production possible.

  • Hope College Public Affairs and Marketing
  • Hope College Video Services
Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Black logo on white background reading Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, part of the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, is generously funded by David M. Rubenstein.

Special thanks to The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

Additional support is provided by The Honorable Stuart Bernstein and Wilma E. Bernstein; and the Dr. Gerald and Paula McNichols Foundation.

Kennedy Center education and related artistic programming is made possible through the generosity of the National Committee for the Performing Arts.

This production is entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). The aims of this national theater education program are to identify and promote quality in college-level theater production. To this end, each production entered is eligible for a response by a regional KCACTF representative, and selected students and faculty are invited to participate in KCACTF programs involving scholarships, internships, grants and awards for actors, directors, dramaturgs, playwrights, designers, stage managers and critics at both the regional and national levels.

Productions entered on the Participating level are eligible for invitation to the KCACTF regional festival and may also be considered for national awards recognizing outstanding achievement in production, design, direction and performance.

Last year more than 1,500 productions were entered in the KCACTF involving more than 200,000 students nationwide. By entering this production, our theater department is sharing in the KCACTF goals to recognize, reward, and celebrate the exemplary work produced in college and university theaters across the nation.

Learn more.