Hope College Theatre’s production of Audrey Cefaly’s “Alabaster” will not only open the department’s season but celebrate a longtime member of the faculty who will be retiring at the end of the semester.

The play will run Friday-Sunday, Oct. 13-15, and Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 19-22, in the DeWitt Center studio theatre, with Oct. 14 featuring simulcast viewing in the main theatre.  There will be evening performances on Oct. 13, 14 and 19-21 at 7:30 p.m., and matinee performances on Oct. 15, 21 and 22 at 2 p.m.

The play is the final production being directed by theatre professor Daina Robins before she retires at the end of December.  Taking place during the college’s “One Big Weekend (Homecoming + Family Weekend),” the Oct. 13-15 performances will be linked to a commemoration of her impact during her more than three decades at Hope, including an alumni dinner and a post-performance discussion with Robins and an alumni panel on Oct. 14.

Pulitzer-nominated and winner of the Calicchio Prize, “Alabaster” is considered to be a darkly comedic play. As described by Cefaly on her website: “After a tornado barrels through town leaving nothing but death and destruction, only June and her pet goat Weezy live to tell the tale. When a prominent photographer visits to take pictures of June’s scars, both are forced to reconcile the pain of loss and recovery. This all-female, darkly comedic southern drama explores the meaning and purpose of art and the struggle of the lost and tortured souls that seek to create it.”

In addition to Robins, the college’s production team consists of Keith Pitts, who is an adjunct member of the art and art history faculty, as scenic designer; Michelle Bombe, professor of theatre and department chair, as props designer and costume design mentor; sophomore Reneé Marting of Dundee as costume designer; Eric Van Tassell, assistant professor of theatre and dance, as lighting designer; Ken Chamberlain, assistant director of production for dance and theatre, as sound designer; and staff members Stephen Krebs, who is technical director for theatre and Hope Repertory Theatre, and Anna Hill, who is theatre department shop manager and dance department costume designer, as technical director and costume shop manager, respectively.

Also serving on the production team are sophomore Ava Bell of Farmington Hills as stage manager; and sophomores Ellie Cocking of Novi and Evelyn Lapadat of Elkhart, Ind., as assistant stage managers.

The cast includes sophomore Kate Lawrence of White Bear Lake, Minn.; sophomore Audrey Kunce of Carmel, Ind.; senior Kelsey Sivertson of Holland; and sophomore Sofia Wake of Washington, Ill.

In honor of Robins, proceeds from the ticket sales for Oct. 13 and 14 and freewill contributions on Oct. 15 will support the Department of Theatre’s Discretionary Fund.

Tickets for Friday, Oct. 13, are $32.50 for general admission, marking Robins’s 32.5 years at Hope, and free for Hope students and high school students.  They may be ordered through the college’s ticket office.  

Tickets for Saturday, Oct. 14, are for the simulcast in the main theatre, which will include the post-performance discussion, and are $32.50.  Attendance in the studio theatre itself on Oct. 14 will be in conjunction with the dinner, which will begin at 5:30 p.m., with a limited number of tickets available for $100.  Tickets for the Oct. 14 simulcast, and for the Oct. 14 dinner event and performance in the studio theatre, are available only through the Alumni Office as part of the “One Big Weekend (Homecoming + Family Weekend)” schedule, which can be found at hope.edu/alumni.  Students may attend the simulcast in the main theatre for free, but no advance reservations are available. 

Admission to the matinee performance on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. is free, but with suggested donations of $32.50. All tickets for this performance must be reserved through theatre@hope.edu with the following information: performance date, number of seats, full name and phone number.

The second weekend of performances will revert to the usual ticket structure.  Tickets for the evening performances on Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 19-21, at 7:30 p.m. and the matinee on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m. are $10 for general admission, $7 for senior citizens and Hope faculty and staff, and free for Hope College students and students ages 18 and under, and are available through the college’s ticket office.

Admission to the matinee performance on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. is free, but tickets must be reserved through theatre@hope.edu with the following information: performance date, number of seats, full name and phone number.

The college’s ticket office is in 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 available through the ticket office may also be purchased online at hope.edu/tickets.

Because of the limited seating in the studio theatre, all tickets must be picked up at least 10 minutes before the performance to be guaranteed seating in the theatre.

To inquire about accessibility or if you need accommodations to fully participate in the event, please email accommodations@hope.edu.  Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at hope.edu/calendar.

The DeWitt Student and Cultural Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue between 10th and 13th streets. The studio theatre is located on the lowest level near the building’s southeast corner.