The Hope College Department of Theatre has been invited to perform the original production “The Boy Who Hates Everything” during the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), which is being hosted by the University of Michigan-Flint on Tuesday-Sunday, Jan. 9-14.

West Michigan will have an opportunity to see the play locally during the send-off benefit performance on Sunday, Jan. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.  The performance on campus will be free, but donations will be accepted to help with the associated costs of touring the production.

“The Boy Who Hates Everything” was created last spring by Hope theatre students and guest artist Chris Garcia Peak.  The production was selected for the festival by a juried committee from KCACTF from entries throughout the five-state region.

Michelle Bombe, director of theatre at Hope, noted that she is especially proud of the student work. “‘The Boy Who Hates Everything’ is the culmination of the training, creativity and hard work of our students, faculty, and staff.” she said.  “Devising work is a hallmark of our program, and we feel it gives students the tools they need to become entrepreneurial artists.  The festival is a wonderful showcase for college theatre.  Similar to students presenting research at a conference, touring this production allows our theatre students to share their artistic work.  We are extremely proud to share ‘The Boy Who Hates Everything’ at our regional festival.”

“The Boy Who Hates Everything,” which also includes original music by Nathan Streifel, follows 22-year-old Desmond, who is kicked out of his home for not finishing his dinner and hating everything.  He embarks on a whimsical journey with Amelie, an adventurous singing librarian, on a mission from the Magical Soup Lady to find a cat that can read, to pluck three whiskers from a lion, and to make it snow.  Daina Robins, who recently retired from the Hope theatre faculty, will direct the remount of the production.

In addition to the touring invitation, the theatre department was selected from a juried committee to present the costumes from “The Revolutionists” designed by Michelle Bombe and constructed by Anna Hill with assistance from Hope College costume shop students.   The costumes will be modeled at the conference with commentary about their design and construction.  “The Revolutionists,” by Lauren Gunderson, was produced at Hope in February of 2023.

The annual Region III Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is a gathering of more than 1,200 college theatre students and faculty who join together to showcase the best work of the five-state region of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.  In addition to invited productions that are juried and selected to perform, theatre students also have the opportunity to display their work in dramaturgy, design, stage management, directing, playwriting, musical theatre, and theatre journalism, as well as acting. A total of 24 Hope theatre students will participate in this year’s conference and share their creative activity and research.

Hope College Theatre has previously been honored with selection to the regional festival, most recently with “The Line Between” in 2018, “Gone Missing” in 2012, and “Rose and The Rime,” which was also selected to perform at the national festival in 2008.

To inquire about accessibility or if you need accommodations to fully participate in the Jan. 7 performance at Hope, please email  Updates related to events are posted when available at in the individual listings.

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