Heck-Rabi One Act Festival

The Studio Theatre Presents the 12th Annual Louise Heck-Rabi Performances

DETROIT, MI – Since 2000, the Studio Theatre has hosted the Louise Heck-Rabi Dramatic Writing Competition. The prize for the winning playwrights is a full production of their written work in the Studio Theatre. Each playwright has a chance to work with a student director and student performers to bring their piece to life on the stage. Running March 29 through April 7, audience members can see this year’s three winning student plays: Her by Edmund Alyn Jones, The Diary of Herbie and Madge by Dave Toomey and Poinsettia Blues by Carollette Phillips. Tickets are just $5 and are available by calling the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at (313) 577-2972, online at http://www.wsustudio.com or by visiting the box office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock.

Ashley Shamoon as Jessie, Kelsey Lusch as Denise, Katie Foster as Belle in "Her"

Not only are all the plays written and directed by students, but this year each student, whether playwright or director, hails from Michigan, making the occasion a truly local affair. The undergraduate student directors are George Abud, directing Her, Mackenzie Conn, directing Poinsettia Blues and Andrick Siegmund, directing The Diary of Herbie and Madge.

In Her, Ezra is a substitute teacher with poetic aspirations attempting to cope with the loss of his most substantial romantic relationship. He delves into a world of poetry and queries in a search to regain his ability to feel and recapture his former self. His journey yields his reimagining of former relationships in his dire need for affection, consolation and companionship.

"Poinsettia Blues"

Poinsettia Blues tells the simple yet powerful story of a family’s hardships and their journey through three years of Christmas Eves; where pasts are revealed, introductions are made, and a special Christmas arrival shakes the household.

In The Diary of Herbie and Madge, Madge is a small-town gift shop owner who is not exactly normal. When Herbie, a man of equal quirkiness, walks into her shop to return a ripped diary, their personalities clash in hilariously unexpected ways.

Student director George Abud describes the process of directing Her as a learning experience. “The struggle with directing this play is finding the story and how to best tell it.” Audiences can look forward to discovering the creative journeys the undergraduate student directors, designers and actors have undergone to bring these original student works to life.

Joe Hamid as Herbie and Alyssa Lucas as Madge in "The Diary of Herbie and Madge"

Louise Heck-Rabi was a dedicated writer and an active member in the Detroit literary scene.  She created the playwriting scholarship to ensure that young playwrights of Detroit would carry on her passion years after her passing. The competition serves as a memorial and tribute to her dedication to the arts and to education.

The cast includes (in alphabetical order):

Her: Aaron Glenn (Wyandotte, MI) as Ezra, Katie Foster (Harrison Twp, MI) as Belle, Kelsey Lusch (Clinton Township, MI) as Denise and Ashley Shamoon (Northville, MI) as Jessie.

Poinsettia Blues: Zee Bricker (Detroit, MI) as Linda,  Michael Gingerella (Madison Heights, MI) as Michael, Robert J Hammond (Troy, MI) as MJ, Sarah Kuzdak (Redford, MI) as Janelle and Malvina Mirowski (Sterling Heights, MI) as Deniece and Bryauna Perkins (Chesterfield, MI) as Sugar.

The Diary of Herbie and Madge: Joe Hamid (Coral Springs, FL) as Herbie, Alyssa Lucas (Garden City, MI) as Madge and Yesmeen Mikhail (Wyandotte, MI) as Mrs. Floopington.

The production team includes:

George Abud (Director, Her), Mackenzie Conn (Director, Poinsettia Blues), Andrick Siegmund (Director, The Diary of Herbie and Madge), Meghan Lynch (Production Stage Manager),  Maggie Beson (Stage Manager, Her),  Daniel Anthony Finn (Stage Manager, Poinsetta Blues), Shannon Hurst (Stage Manager, The Diary of Herbie and Madge), Alan Devlin (Scenic Designer), Christa Tausney (Assistant Scenic Designer), Melissa Hall (Costume Designer), Anthony Karpinski (Lighting Designer), Michael Thomas (Sound Designer), Regina Spain (Property Master), and Patrick Pozezinski (Publicist).

About the Studio Theatre

The Studio Theatre is an intimate, 110-seat, open-stage theatre in the lower level of the Hilberry Theatre on Wayne State University’s campus that is often used for experimental, student and classroom productions. Annual programming includes the Ph.D. Directors’ Series, the Student Stage and the Louise Heck-Rabi Dramatic Writing Competition. For nearly fifty years the Studio Theatre has presented great theatre featuring WSU undergraduate students. With generous support from WSU Theatres’ patrons and donors, the Studio Theatre recently underwent renovation.

The Wayne State University Theatre Box Office is open Tuesday through Saturday from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. and two hours before show time at the Hilberry Theatre. Tickets may be purchased upstairs at the Hilberry Theatre at 4743 Cass Avenue. There will be no late seating. Tickets are available for $5. For more information about the Studio Theatre, please visit the theatre’s website at www.wsustudio.com.


The Louise Heck-Rabi Dramatic Playwriting Competition

Winning Performances



By Edmund Allyn Jones

 The Diary of Herbie and Madge

By Dave Toomey

 Poinsettia Blues

By Carollette Phillips

Calendar Information

March 29th – April 7th, 2012

Thursday 8 p.m.         March 29, April 5

Friday 8 p.m.              March 30, April 6

Saturday 8 p.m.          March 31, April 7            


Photo Credits: Patrick Pozezinski


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