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Hope Summer Rep Begins Rehearsals For 47th Season

Hope Summer Repertory Theatre (HSRT), Western Michigan's premier summer theatre, has begun rehearsals for their highly anticipated 2018 season! The company was established at Hope College in 1972 and is entering their 47th Season with newly named New York City Theatre Artist Lenny Banovez, as the company's Artistic Director.

"There is a real sense of excitement at HSRT this season." said Anne Bakker, HSRT's Managing Director. "It is not just having Lenny here, but the leadership team we have assembled this season is outstanding. I am excited for our community to see what this company has in store for them."

The company will begin its 47th season with the musical sensation, "THE WIZ", directed by NYC Based Director Marcus Denard Johnson (Also Rep, Titan Theatre Company). The production will feature Maya Lagerstam as Dorothy, Brandon Wright (Michigan Shakespeare, Hilberry Theatre) as the Tin Man, Chaz Sanders as the Scarecrow, and Marcus Martin as the Lion. "THE WIZ" will feature Scenic Design by: Sandy Yaklin (Gideon Productions NYC, HERE Arts Center NYC), Lighting/Projection Design by: Alan Piotrowicz, Costume Design by: Andrew Vincent, Music Direction by: Alex Thompson, and Choreography by: Chaz Sanders.

HSRT will also present the Tony Award-Winning play "THE ODD COUPLE" by Neil Simon, directed by HSRT veteran Jahnna Beecham (Milwaukee Rep, Oregon Cabaret Theatre). The American classic will feature 25 year HSRT Alum, and audience favorite, Chip Duford as Oscar and Michael J. Barnes (Utah Shakespeare) as Felix. "THE ODD COUPLE" will feature Scenic Design by: Joseph Flauto, Lighting Design by: Stephen Sakowski, Sound Design by: Josh Schmidt (Broadway, APT, Milwaukee Rep) and Costume Design by: Olivia Trees (Juilliard School, Bedlam Theatre NYC).

This seasons children's production will feature the World Premiere of Dragon Pack Snack Attack - The Musical written by Erik Durham based on the children's book by Artist Joel Schoon-Tanis and Jeff Grooters with music by Erik Durham and arrangements by Alex Thompson.

This season, HSRT will introduce audiences to a new performance space The John and Dede Howard Recital Hall in the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, which will be home to the dynamic and innovative play, "AN ILIAD" by Denis O'Hare and Lisa Petersen. The modern retelling of Homer's epic poem will feature HSRT Alum Emily Trask (BWAY: Lincoln Center, Alley Theatre, Folger Theatre) as The Poet and Cellist Alicia Storin as The Muse. The production will be directed by HSRT Artistic Director, Lenny Banovez, and will feature Scenic Design by: Sarah Pearline (Purple Rose, Titan Theatre Co.) Lighting Design by: Eric Van Tassell, Sound/Original Music by: Josh Schmidt, and Costume Design by: Andrew Vincent.

HSRT finishes its main stage season with the Tony Award-Winning Musical "GODSPELL", by Stephen Schwartz, also directed by Banovez. The production will feature HSRT Alum Ben Lohrberg as Jesus, Eric Robinson (Face-off Unlimited, Secret Theatre NYC) as Judas, as well as an electric ensemble of 17. "GODSPELL" features Scenic Design by: Sarah Pearline, Lighting Design by: Peter Sargent, and Costume Design by: Leslie Vaglica (Milwaukee Rep, APT).

Tickets for Hope Summer Repertory Theatre's Season may be purchased through the ticket office in the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.). The office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890. Tickets can also be purchased online at

Established at Hope College in 1972, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre is West Michigan's premiere professional theatre company and produces plays and educational programs of the highest professional standards that address the needs of, and enhance the quality of life for, Hope College and the community. The productions are presented across the summer months in venues including the college's DeWitt Center main theatre, DeWitt Center Studio Theatre and Knickerbocker Theatre. The company numbers more than 100 annually and features a unique blend of distinguished professionals and young theatre artists from across the United States.

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