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By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

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Saturday, April 20, 2024 7:30pm to 10pm

141 East 12th Street, Holland, MI 49423-3607

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The Department of Theatre at Hope College will present Lynn Nottage’s “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” on Friday-Sunday, April 12-14, and Thursday-Saturday, April 18-20, in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

There will be evening performances on Friday-Saturday, April 12-13, and Thursday-Saturday, April 18-20, at 7:30 p.m.  There will be a matinee on Sunday, April 14, at 2 p.m.

“By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” follows a young, Black maid in the 1930s as her acting career begins to take off. Meanwhile, she works to navigate her relationship with her boss, a white woman struggling to hold on to her stardom. Seventy years later, critics discuss these two women, and how their portrayals of racial stereotypes led to their fame, fortune and fate.

In response to the questions “Why this play?” and “Why now?” director Bianca Ciungan, assistant professor of theatre at Hope, says, “Often, we don’t get to hear the full stories of those who have made significant contributions to this world, big or small. This production gives us another chance to educate ourselves, honor and recognize the journey that people have taken. Celebrating the triumphs and the challenges.”

In addition to Ciungan, the college’s production team consists of Keith Pitts, an adjunct member of the art and art history faculty, as scenic designer; Michelle Bombe, professor of theatre and department chair, as costume designer; Eric Van Tassell, assistant professor of lighting and sound design, as lighting designer; Ken Chamberlain, assistant director of production for dance and theatre, as co-sound designer; MacKenzie Lakatos as guest props coordinator; Stephen Krebs, technical director for theatre and Hope Repertory Theatre, as technical director; and Anna Hill, theatre department costume manager and dance department costume designer, as costume shop manager.

Also serving on the production team are freshmen Adeline Thalhammer of Swartz Creek and Sarah White of Marlton, New Jersey, as assistant stage managers; sophomores Audrey Kunce of Carmel, Indiana, as stage manager and Ava Bell of Farmington Hills as assistant lighting designer; junior Alegría Guzmán of Quito, Ecuador, as dramaturg; and senior Lydia Konings of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as co-sound designer.

The cast includes freshmen Castle Dettinger of San Diego, California, and Darrell Rounds of Westland; juniors Canyon Mannikko of Missouri City, Texas, and Eden Comer of Farmington Hills; senior Kelsey Sivertson of Holland; fifth-year Ka’niya Houston of Chicago, Ilinois; and community member Kahrynn Aaliyah of Fennville.

Tickets for the matinee on Sunday, April 14, are free.  Tickets for the evening performances are $10 for regular admission; $7 for senior citizens and Hope faculty and staff; and free for Hope College students and other students ages 18 and under. Tickets are available at the Events and Conferences Office located in downtown Holland in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.). The ticket office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at 616-395-7890. Tickets may be purchased by calling or visiting the ticket office, online at, or in person at the performance. Reserved tickets must be claimed 10 minutes prior to performances in order to guarantee seating.

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

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

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