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Art & Soul - The Performing Arts: Local Theatre, Comedy, Music, And More

Golden Record Media Company

This week, "Art and Soul" focuses on the performing arts.  89.1 WEMU's LIsa Barry is joined by local arts writer and critic Jenn McKee and an actress and director from Ann Arbor's Theatre NOVA, Diane Hill.

About "The Stone Witch"

Theatre NOVA presents the Michigan premiere of “The Stone Witch” by Shem Bitterman Oct. 19 – Nov. 11, 2018.

Theatre NOVA, Ann Arbor’s resident professional theatre with an exclusive focus on new plays and playwrights, presents the Michigan premiere of “The Stone Witch” by Shem Bitterman.

Credit Golden Record Media Company
Dennis Kleinsmith as Simon Grindberg in "The Stone Witch" by Shem Bitterman at Theatre NOVA.

“Extraordinary art must be tamed," says reclusive genius Simon Grindberg, the world’s most illustrious children’s book writer.  But, holed up in a remote cabin with his next masterpiece a decade overdue, it's not clear who is the master and who is the servant.  When Peter Chandler, a starving artist with literary aspirations of his own, is hired to help “The Great Man” finish his overdue book, an unlikely friendship ensues, haunting secrets emerge, and the lines of reality begin to blur.  Ultimately, both men must face the terrifying beast dwelling in the dark forest, in a struggle for their artistry, their sanity, and their souls.

Credit Golden Record Media Company
(L to R): Ethan Kankula as Peter Chandler and Dennis Kleinsmith as Simon Grindberg in "The Stone Witch" by Shem Bitterman at Theatre NOVA.

Directed by Nancy Kammer, “The Stone Witch” features Dennis Kleinsmith, Ethan Kankula, and Diane Hill.  The production team includes Forrest Hejkal (scenic design), Jeff Alder (lighting design), Harper Wildern (art projection) Haley Cook (costume design), Carla Milarch (sound design), and Alona Shewach (stage manager).

Credit Golden Record Media Company
(L to R): Diane Hill as Clair Forlorni and Dennis Kleinsmith as Simon Grindberg in "The Stone Witch" by Shem Bitterman at Theatre NOVA.

“The Stone Witch” will run October 19 through November 11, 2018, at Theatre NOVA (410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor), a downtown performance space.  Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.  Theatre NOVA features free parking for patrons, as well as quick access to the city’s restaurants, bars, bakeries, and coffee shops.
Tickets are $22, and Theatre NOVA continues its commitment to making theatre accessible by offering pay-what-you-can tickets for those who need them.  For tickets, visit TheatreNOVA.org, call 734-635-8450 (Tuesdays through Fridays from noon until 3 p.m.), or buy them in person at the box office one hour before show time. 
Theatre NOVA is Ann Arbor’s resident professional theatre company.  Its mission is to raise awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and playwrights and provide resources for playwrights to develop their craft by importing, exporting, and developing new work.

Other Works by Shem Bitterman


  • “Harm’s Way” (PEN USA Award)
  • “The Job” (LA Drama Critic Circle’s Best New Play Award),
  • “Peephole” (Davie Award)
  • “The Ramp” (SCR California Playwrights Award)
  • “Beijing Legends” (The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award) 
  • “Ten Below” (National Play Award)
  • “Iowa Boys” (CBS/FDG New Play Program Award)
  • “Open House”
  • “A Death in Colombia”
  • “Influence”
  • “Man.gov”
  • “The Circle”
  • “Sensitive Skin”
  • “Justice and Night-Side”


  • “Whitney” (Image Award nominee)
  • “Betty & Coretta” (Humanitas Award nominee)
  • “The Job”
  • “Play Dead”
  • “Full Count”
  • “Open House”
  • “Tinsletown”
  • “Out of the Rain”

Other Events Coming Up:  

"A Conversation with Lisa Kron" Thursday, November 1 at EMU Student Center Auditorium

"Hello Dolly" at the Encore Musical Theatre in Dexter, November 15-December 23

Adam Devine - Weird Life Tour 2018 at the Michigan Theater, Monday, November 5 at 8PM

"Whose Live Anyway" at the Michigan Theater, Monday, October 29 at 8 PM

"A2SO: Mahler 9" performed by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra at the Michigan Theater, Saturday, October 27 at 8 PM

A2SO: Four Seasons with Rachel Barton Pine, Saturday November 10 at 8 PM at the Michigan Theater

Iron & Wine at the Michigan Theater, Friday, November 2 at 8 PM

"An Evening with Audra McDonald: Songs from the American Musical Theater," Saturday, November 17 at 8PM at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor

Author Susan Orlean and "The Library Book," Thursday, November 8 at the Ann Arbor District Library, downtown branch

*Plus, read Jenn McKee's article about actor Alec Baldwin's visit to Ann Arbor here*

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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