With three exciting mainstage productions, an adaptation of a children’s story performed under the open sky, a showcase of young talent and a preview of a work in progress, the 52nd summer season of Hope Repertory Theatre at Hope College will offer something for everyone.

The season will open with “The Last Five Years” on Thursday, June 13, and continue through Saturday, Aug. 3, with “Big Fish,” “Detroit ’67” and “Dragon Pack Snack Attack,” along with Hope Rep’s annual Acting Intern Showcase and a workshop reading of “Havurah,” a forthcoming work commissioned by the interfaith Big Bridge Theatre Consortium based at Hope.  Season packages go on sale on Monday, March 4, and tickets for individual productions will be available beginning Monday, April 1.

“We are so excited about the lineup of productions and the incredible professional talent we are assembling for Season 52,” said Michelle Bombe, who is executive director of Hope Repertory Theatre as well as a professor of theatre and department chair at Hope.  “Hope Rep will continue to offer outstanding professional theatre with robust internships in all areas for our next generation of theatre artists.   We are delighted to announce Bianca Washington Ciungan onboard our senior leadership team as artistic associate and to direct our production of ‘Detroit '67.’  Hope Rep is continuing our commitment to offering diverse and inclusive productions for our West Michigan community and honor and build on the significant accomplishments of former artistic director, Marcus Johnson.”

“The Last Five Years,” written and composed by Jason Robert Brown, is a powerful and intimate musical that chronicles the tumultuous relationship between Jamie, a rising novelist, and Cathy, an aspiring actress, over the course of five years.  The story captures the highs and lows of their love affair and the complexities of ambition, success and heartbreak.  Due to adult language and themes, the production is most appropriate for patrons ages 14 and above.  “The Last Five Years” will open on Thursday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m. and will be staged in the Knickerbocker Theatre.  There will also be performances at 7:30 p.m. on June 14, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25 and 26.

“Big Fish” is based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the film directed by Tim Burton, with book by John August and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. “Big Fish” follows Edward Bloom, a salesman with unbelievable tales that captivate all.  As his son Will prepares for fatherhood, he seeks truth in his father’s legendary stories.  The production is for all audiences.  “Big Fish” will open on Friday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m. and will be staged in the DeWitt Center main theatre.  There will also be performances at 7:30 p.m. on June 29, July 5, 10, 11, 19, 20, 22, 23, 27, 30 and 31, and Aug. 3; and at 2 p.m. on July 6.

“Detroit ’67,” by Dominique Morriseau, follows siblings Chelle and Lank as they transform their basement into a thriving after-hours club to make ends meet amidst the vibrant Motown music scene. However, when a mysterious woman disrupts their lives, tensions rise, igniting conflicts over both family affairs and the backdrop of the ’67 uprising that engulfs their city.  Due to adult language and themes, the production is most appropriate for patrons ages 14 and above.  “Detroit ’67” will open on Friday, July 12, at 7:30 p.m. and will be staged in the DeWitt Center main theatre.  There will also be performances at 7:30 p.m. on July 13, 17, 18, 24, 25 and 26, and August 1 and 2.

“Dragon Pack Snack Attack,” a musical for young audiences, takes place in a mythic and futuristic Middle Ages. Hobart the dragon and his buddies grow weary of the usual antics, so they fly off to explore new places.  At first, they enjoy the beach on an island paradise, but then they become hungry.  When the dragons leave the tropics and discover Burger Hut, it’s a full-pledged, ferociously fearsome fast-food festival.  Hope Rep presented “Dragon Pack Snack Attack’s” world premiere in 2018.  The story is based on the children’s book by Joel Schoon-Tanis and Jeff Grooters, with music and adaptation by Erik Durham and orchestrations by Alex Thompson.  The production opens on Friday, June 21, at 10:30 a.m., and will be staged in the outdoor amphitheater of the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center (with an alternate indoor location in the event of inclement weather).  There will also be performances at 10:30 a.m. on June 22 and 24 and July 1, 6, 11, 13, 16, 17, 19, 20, 23, 25 and 27; and at 2 p.m. on July 3 and 5.

The 2024 “Acting Intern Showcase” will feature young theatre artists who are part of Hope Rep’s 52nd summer season as they present an evening of songs and monologues.  The one-night-only event will take place on Monday, July 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

“Havurah” (loosely translated to “circle of friends”), in development by playwright Margo Connolly with an anticipated debut during the 2025-26 school year, explores interfaith tensions on a college campus after a shooting incident at a local synagogue.  The play is the third original work dedicated to peace and interfaith dialogue commissioned by the Big Bridge Theatre Consortium of colleges and universities, which was established in 2017 and became based at Hope in the fall of 2023.  The workshop reading is a partnership between Hope Rep and Big Bridge, and will take place on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m. in the John and Dede Howard Recital Hall of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.

A variety of season packages as well as single-show tickets are available.

The season packages that go on sale on Monday, March 4, include an All-Access Pass for every show as well as invitations to special events for $225; an Adult Best Buy package for the three mainstage productions for $125; a three-show package for senior citizens and Hope faculty and staff for $95; and a three-show pass for students for $60.  The packages may be purchased in person at the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.) or by calling the office at 616-395-7890. The office is open for ticket sales on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

When tickets for individual productions become available beginning Monday, April 1, they will also be available at the office or by calling the office, plus they will be available to purchase online at hope.edu/tickets

Single tickets for “The Last Five Years” are $45 for regular admission, $35 for senior citizens and Hope faculty and staff, and $25 for students.

Single tickets for “Big Fish” are $50 for regular admission, $40 for senior citizens and Hope faculty and staff, $30 for students and $20 for children under 18.

Single tickets for “Detroit ’67” are $40 for regular admission, $30 for senior citizens and Hope faculty and staff, and $20 for students.

In addition, there will be a “pay what you can” option for the three mainstage productions starting 30 minutes before curtain at the theatre only for the last three rows of the balcony, contingent on seats remaining.

All tickets for “Dragon Pack Snack Attack” are $15, and for the Acting Intern Showcase are $20.  Admission to the workshop reading of “Havurah” is free.

In addition to the productions, Hope Repertory Theatre will be offering a variety of week-long day and half-day summer camps for school-age children throughout the season, with themes and options including Fractured Fairy Tales, Improv, Theatrical Design, Musical Theatre, Creative Drama, Performing Arts, Superhero, Playwriting, 29-Hour Film-Making and Broadway Bootcamp.  More information, including the camp dates, recommended grade levels, cost and how to register, is available online at hope.edu/hsrt

Hope Repertory Theatre — or, “Hope Rep” — produces plays and educational programs throughout the summer as well as during the academic year, and involves theatre professionals working alongside student interns onstage and in technical and production areas.  Continuing a new tradition that began in 2020, the company will present “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” in December at the Knickerbocker Theatre.

Hope Rep began as Hope Summer Theatre, inspired by the opening of the 500-seat DeWitt Center main theatre in the fall of 1971.  It adopted its current repertory format, and became Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, in 1974.  The name was shortened to Hope Repertory Theatre in 2022 to reflect the company’s history of also including productions at other times of the year.

More information about Hope Rep is available at hope.edu/hsrt

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 at hope.edu/calendar in the individual listings.