The Department of Theatre at Hope College will present Steve Martin’s and Edie Brickell’s musical “Bright Star” on Friday-Sunday, April 22-24, and Thursday-Saturday, April 28-30, in the main theatre in the DeWitt Student and Cultural Center.

The performances on April 22, 23, and 28-30 will begin at 7:30 p.m.  The performance on Sunday, April 24, will be a free matinee beginning at 2 p.m.

The production is directed by Daina Robins, professor of theatre at Hope College. Inspired by a true story, “Bright Star” tells the tale of love and motherhood set in the American South in the 1920s and 1940s. When the editor of the Asheville Southern Journal, Alice Murphy, meets an aspiring writer, she is reminded of the ghosts of her past. The musical journeys through past and present to unveil how the choices that individuals make forever influence their lives and the community with which they surround themselves.

“In choosing to direct ‘Bright Star,’ I was particularly drawn to its bluegrass music,” Robins said. “It is a kind of music that we have not often heard in our theatre (as opposed to more traditional musical theatre repertoire), and I loved imagining our students singing to the accompaniment of a fiddle, banjo and mandolin — with audience members tapping their feet in time.”

“The story and characters of ‘Bright Star’ are also moving to me — the manner in which Steve Martin and Edie Brickell weave their tale is thematically, theatrically and musically compelling,” she said. “The lead character, Alice Murphy, is a strong and vibrant woman with, as the opening lyrics say, ‘a good story to tell.’”

In addition to Robins, the college’s production team includes professor Michelle Bombe, costume designer and chair of the department; assistant professor Eric Van Tassell as sound designer, Hope professor emerita Linda Graham as guest choreographer; assistant professor Sarah VandenBrink as music director, and staff members Stephen Krebs, Erik Alberg, Darlene Veenstra and Ken Chamberlain as technical director, production manager, costume shop manager and sound designer, respectively. Also serving on the production team are students Lydia Konings of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as stage manager; Carole Chee of Grand Rapids as head of props; and Olivia Weg of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Mackenzie Halton of Colorado Springs, Colorado, as assistant stage managers.

The cast includes Cameron Baron of Chicago, Illinois; Adam Chamness of Holland; Emma Clark of DeWitt; Caroline Dargay of Clarkston; Kersten Dekker of Hudsonville; Valerie Dien of Fountain Valley, California; Emily Dykhouse of Holland; Lisbeth Franzon of Whitehall; Blade Gates of Manistee; Alegría Guzmán of Quito, Ecuador; Emi Herman of Waukegan, Illinois; Alex Johnson of Indianapolis, Indiana; Canyon Mannikko of Missouri City, Texas; Grant McKenzie of Western Springs, Illinois; Favor Eden Okechukwu of Farmington Hills; Zach Pickle of Three Rivers; Chloe Roberts of Pensacola, Florida; Andrew Silagi of Arlington Heights, Illinois; Elayna Sitzman of Minnetonka, Minnesota; Wesley Stewart of Otsego; and Brianna Tomczak of Dexter. In addition, the student cast is being joined by David James, who is coordinator of academic coaching at Hope; and Eric Van Tassell, assistant professor of lighting and sound design.

Tickets are $10 for regular admission; $7 for senior citizens and Hope faculty and staff; and free for all students with ID or under 18 years old. Tickets are available at the Events and Conferences Office located in downtown Holland in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.). The ticket office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at 616-395-7890. Tickets can also be purchased online at

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the Hope College Department of Theatre is currently requiring that masks be worn by all individuals at its performances, and seating will be limited.

Audience members who need assistance to fully enjoy any event at Hope are encouraged to contact the college’s Events and Conferences Office by emailing or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue between 10th and 13th Streets.