Cast Announced For Sauk's Plays-in-Development

Cast Announced For Sauk's Plays-in-Development

The Sauk, Hillsdale County's community theatre, will present free public readings of four new American plays as part of their fourth annual Plays-in-Development series.

Started in 2015, "Plays-in-Development" is a unique project to help writers develop their scripts. Actors and directors work one on one with playwrights to learn what works and what does not work about their plays. During rehearsals, the playwrights make changes to their scripts. The project ends with free staged readings for the public. After the readings, the audience gets an opportunity to respond to what they have heard. Therefore, the playwrights end the process with creative criticism from directors, actors and audience.

"As the program has grown over the past four years, we are starting to get submissions from all over the world," said Sauk Executive Director Trinity Bird. "This year, we posted one ad online and ended up receiving 364 scripts from 18 states plus England, Ireland, China and three scripts from Australia. Our play selection committee reviewed all of these plays and ultimately selected the four scripts we will be working on."

"We continue to make local playwrights the priority," Bird said. "We are excited to have a play by Paul McKinley, who has performed on our stage and designed sets for us. We also wanted the opportunity to have talented artists from all over the country come to Jonesville to work with our actors and directors. Thanks to a generous grant from the Jonesville Walmart store, we are able to have all four playwrights spend severals days in Jonesville to work on their plays."

The 2018 Plays-in-Development will include staged readings of "The Pattern of All Patience" by Jacquelyn Loy of Fort Myers, Fla. and "Tipping Point" by Paul McKinley of Bronson at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 29. On Saturday, June 30, staged readings of "Timmy's Big Kiss" by Matthew Weaver of Spokane, Wash. and "Acts of Expiation" by Joseph Allen Smith of Ocala, Fla. will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Doors will open each night at 7 p.m. The staged readings will be held at the Sauk Theatre, 240 E. Chicago St., Jonesville. Visit for more information.
"Plays-in-Development" is sponsored by Gossage Eye Institute and Optical and The Grate Haus. The 2018 season is sponsored by Expressions Photography and Design. The Sauk is also supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment of the Arts and its program ArtWorks.

About the Plays

• "Tipping Point" - "How are you going to make a career with that?" In a rural Midwestern college town, a professor is confronted by the town's assumptions about college and career success when a student discovers his professor will also be his waitress for the evening. MJ Dulmage will direct. The cast includes Simoné Searcy, Jordan Hayes-Devloo, Kary Swiontek, Ken Washburn, Rickie Freeman, Nathan Drumhiller, John Jordan and Collin Smith.

• "The Pattern of All Patience" - After her mother's funeral, a young woman strives to connect with her father who recently moved to a nursing home as his condition with Alzheimer's worsens. Her father finds himself befriending a young girl whose inquisitive nature reminds him of his youth. As their friendship strengthens, so does his memory eventually bringing back the pain from his dark past. Mari Nunez will direct. The cast includes John Kasper, Sarah Gray, Heather Harmon, Ross Bonjernoor and Sloan Schneider.

• "Timmy's Big Kiss" - Timmy Hilsop is on the run from every girl in his school and the tri-county area, all of whom want to kiss him to win a prize established by his rock star older brother, Van. But does Timmy even want to be kissed? Trinity Bird will direct. The cast includes Trevor Wagler, Stella McCourry, Josie Henvey, Madison Wright, Brendan Pratt, Cooper Adams, Olivia Pike, Meighan Roe, Jonah VanderHoff, Pat Bogusz, Anne Conners, Diane Langan, Ashton Forant, Cana Wensley, Lilly Macie and Hannah Spencer.

• "Acts of Expiation" - What do you do when the doorbell rings and it's an old friend in need of help? What do you do when it's your long-divorced husband in a wheelchair wanting to move back in? With the help of a taxi driver, Neil and Rose learn to walk again, to dance again and to live one day at a time. Josh Hall will direct. The cast includes Deb Lemke, Timothy Brayman and Mattie Noble.

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