Hope College Theatre's first production of the spring semester, "Perfect Pie" by Canadian playwright Judith Thompson, will open on Friday, Feb. 17.

Hope College Theatre's first production of the spring semester, "Perfect Pie" by Canadian playwright Judith Thompson, will open on Friday, Feb. 17.

The play will run for two weeks, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18, and Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 22-25, in the DeWitt Center main theatre. All performances will begin at 8 p.m. with discussions following every performance led by members of the Hope College faculty and staff, and students.

Written in 1999, "Perfect Pie" centers on the friendship between two women, both as young school girls and as adults. Over the course of the play numerous issues are addressed, particularly the pressures and challenges of adolescent development as they relate to family, school and peer relationships, and subsequent adult questions regarding life choices and memory. One of the most haunting memories involves an incident of sexual assault.

Daina Robins, who is director of the production and a member of the Hope theatre faculty, has organized nightly post-performance panels as a way for the audience to have a deeper discussion of the subject matter. There were similarly structured audience-panel conversations after recent productions of "The Laramie Project" (2003) and "Golden Ladder" (2004).

"I believe these panels have significantly demonstrated our community's ability to grapple with seemingly sensitive material and have deepened the artistic and educational value of these productions," Robins said. "I believe 'Perfect Pie' is also a play that merits and will benefit from such post-performance exchange."

Members of the production team include Hope College theatre faculty member Perry Landes as lighting and sound designer. Technical direction is by Hope College staff member Paul Anderson. Three Hope College students are serving in important roles as designers: senior Sandra Deitz of Grand Rapids as costume designer, sophomore Sarah J. Watkins of Bloomfield Hills as scenic designer and junior Stephanie van Ravensway of Plainwell as sound designer. Other Hope students involved are sophomore Reagan Chesnut of Grand Rapids as stage manager; senior Eric Van Tassell of Spencer, Iowa, as assistant lighting designer; and freshmen Isaac Bush of Muskegon and Maggie McGurn of Traverse City as assistant stage managers.

Cast members include junior Kate Goetzinger of Indianapolis, Ind., as Patsy; freshman Barbra Rubio of Holland as Marie Begg; sophomore Whitney Thomas of Granville, Ohio, as Francesca; and freshman Laura Van Tassell of Spencer, Iowa, as Young Patsy.

Tickets for "Perfect Pie" are $7 for regular admission, $5 for Hope faculty and staff, and $4 for senior citizens and students, and are available at the ticket office in the front lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse. The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890. On theatre performance nights the theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center will be open shortly before the curtain rises.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located facing Fairbanks Avenue between 9th and 11th streets, and the DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.