Featuring Multiple Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Shows and the 90th Anniversary of Dance at Wayne

The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance has unveiled its 2018-2019 season, featuring Tony Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-winning plays and musical plus the 90th anniversary of Dance at Wayne.

Opening the season is “Avenue Q”, the 2003 Tony Award winner for Best Musical. The deliciously naughty musical, with its whimsical cast of puppets begins performances at the Hilberry Theatre on Sept. 21, 2018 and continues through Oct. 7. Following, in the intimacy of the Studio Theatre at the Hilberry, Nambi E. Kelley’s “Xtigone“ is a modern re-imagining of Sophocles’ classic morality play, “Antigone,” examining the blood-soaked gun violence and torment facing urban communities. “Xtigone” runs from Oct. 12 to 27, 2018. Shakespeare’s comedy, “As You Like It,” fills the Hilberry with charm and humor from Oct. 26 to Nov. 11, 2018. Continuing a Detroit tradition, Ebenezer Scrooge returns to the Bonstelle Theatre for “A Christmas Carol,” a 75-minute holiday spectacular for the whole family, running Nov. 30 to Dec. 16. Kicking off the 90th anniversary of dance at Wayne State University, the December Dance Concert brings contemporary dance masters together for one thrilling weekend, Dec. 7 and 8, 2018. Closing out the fall schedule is Christopher Durang’s Tony Award winning comedy, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” the hilarious story of siblings Vanya, Sonia and their movie-star sister, Masha, who swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike. Join the siblings in the Studio Theatre at the Hilberry, Dec. 7 through 16, 2018.

The winter schedule begins Tony Kushner’s two-part “Angels in America,” taking audiences on a fantasia through the late-80s and the AIDS crisis. This multi-award-winning play, (both the 1993 and 1994 Tony Awards for Best Play and the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) includes Part I: Millennium Approaches, Feb. 8 to 24, 2019 at the Hilberry Theatre followed by Part II: Perestroika, April 26 to May 12, 2019. Experience both parts in a single day with back-to-back performances on May 5 and 11, 2019. Capping off the 90th anniversary of dance at Wayne State University is the 90th Annual Spring Dance Concert at the Bonstelle Theatre for one awe-inspiring weekend, March 1 and 2, 2019. Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Venus” runs March 22 through April 13, 2019 in the Studio Theatre at the Hilberry. “Venus” is an intense and devastating experience, inspired by the true story of Saartjie Baartman, a black woman from South Africa who is taken to London and becomes the “Hottentot Venus.” Parks’ play examines the way we live and love today. Wayne State University has been granted the honor of being the first university allowed to bring “Mamma Mia!” to life. Audiences will be dancing in the aisles when this super-musical, featuring classic songs from ABBA, hits the Bonstelle Theatre from April 5 to 14, 2019.

Season tickets go on sale Feb. 1, 2018. Tickets buyers may choose from three season ticket options: a six-show subscription including “Avenue Q,” “As You Like It,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Angels in America - Part I: Millennium Approaches,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Angels in America - Part II: Perestroika;” and eight-show subscription featuring the above plus the December Dance Concert and 90th Annual Spring Dance Concert; or a ten-ticket membership which can be used in any combination. Six-show and eight-show subscribers enjoy guaranteed seats for all productions starting at just $132 per person with discounts available to students, senior citizens, and Wayne State University alumni, faculty, and staff.  Tickets to individual shows go on sale Sunday, July 1, 2018. Tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 313-577-2972.


2018-2019 SEASON


Sept. 21 to Oct. 7, 2018

Hilberry Theatre

Music and Lyrics by ROBERT LOPEZ and JEFF MARX


Book based on an original concept by ROBERT LOPEZ and JEFF MARX

Winner of the Tony “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, “Avenue Q” is a hilarious spoof on children’s television... but for adults. This laugh-out-loud musical follows recently graduated and currently cash-poor Princeton on his journey to find his ever-elusive purpose. All the way out on Avenue Q, he finds not only a home but a circle of friends who are all searching for something missing.


Oct. 12 to 27, 2018

Studio Theatre at the Hilberry


In present day Chicago, Xtigone mourns the death of her brothers, mowed down by a rival gang. Instead of dealing with the reality of violence in the city’s streets, her uncle intends to bury the bodies without investigation. Will Xtigone risk death by opposing her uncle? Using hip hop, poetry, dance, and dialogue that speaks with an urban voice, this re-imagining of Sophocles’ Antigone tells the story of the ill-fated Xtigone and her quest for her community’s truth.


Oct. 26 to Nov. 11, 2018

Hilberry Theatre


Knocking down the traditional rules of romance, “As You Like It” is one of William Shakespeare’s most hilariously subversive comedies. Being removed from the court by Duke Frederick, Duke Senior takes refuge in the wild and wonderful Forest of Arden. Duke Frederick, threatened by Duke Senior’s daughter, Rosalind, banishes her as well. Fearing the unknown, Rosalind and her faithful cousin disguise themselves as boys in order to survive the wilderness. Come along on this topsy-turvy journey into one of the most joyous adventures the Bard ever penned.


Nov. 30 to Dec. 16, 2018

Bonstelle Theatre

Based on the story by CHARLES DICKENS Adapted by JOHN WOLF and TOM AULINO

A Detroit family tradition, now in its third joyous year! Join Ebenezer Scrooge on a ghostly adventure in Dicken’s classic story. When the miserly old Scrooge is visited by his former business partner, now deceased, he begins a journey into the past, present and future to learn the true meaning of Christmas. Will the old codger redeem himself? Can the spirits inspire him to a greater purpose? Find out this Christmas at the Bonstelle Theatre. At just 75 minutes, with no intermission, “A Christmas Carol” is perfect for families.


Dec. 7 to 16, 2018

Studio Theatre at the Hilberry


Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home in Bucks County, PA, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. Suddenly, their movie-star sister, Masha, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike. Old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats to sell the house. Also on the scene are sassy maid Cassandra, who can predict the future, and a lovely young aspiring actress named Nina, whose prettiness somewhat worries the imperious Masha.


Feb. 8 to 24, 2019

Hilberry Theatre


In Part I of this two part epic, Prior Walter, a young man living in NYC in 1985, is diagnosed with AIDS. His boyfriend, Louis, struggling to cope with the disease and his own fears, abandons him. Alone, Prior struggles until he’s visited by ancestral ghosts who herald the coming of a fierce angel. At the same time, Joe Pitt, a conservative but closeted Mormon, is offered a high profile job in Washington, D.C., by his mentor, the McCarthyist lawyer Roy Cohn. Joe’s wife Harper, who struggles with her own illness, refuses to move. In the seven-time Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, playwright Tony Kushner explores evolving values in America.


March 1 and 2, 2019

Bonstelle Theatre

Celebrate our 90th Anniversary of Dance at Wayne with this thrilling weekend at the Bonstelle Theatre. Join us as we highlight national and international works from top-performing artists. With only two performances, you don’t want to miss the artistry and athleticism of our dance company.


March 22 to April 13, 2019

Studio Theatre at the Hilberry


Traveling from her home in southern Africa for what she hoped would be a better life, Saartjie Baartman became an unfortunate star on the 19th Century London freak show circuit. This Obie Award-winning play, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, gives vibrant life to the story of a young black woman’s journey to London, her rise to fame as the “Hottentot Venus,” and her eventual relationship with a French scientist. Inspired by the true story of Baartman, Venus is a tragic-carnival, an intense and devastating journey honoring the life of Baartman and examining the way we live and love today.


April 5 to May 14, 2019 Bonstelle Theatre Music and Lyrics by BENNY ANDERSSON and BJÖRN ULVAEUS And some songs with STIG ANDERSON Book by CATHERINE JOHNSON Originally Conceived by JUDY CRAMER

MAMMA MIA! was originally produced in London by Judy Cramer, Richard East and Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal. Additional Material & Arrangements MARTIN KOCH Over 54 million people all around the world have fallen in in love with the characters, the story and the music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good show. A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget!


April 26 to May 12, 2019 Hilberry Theatre By TONY KUSHNER

Following the events of “Part I: Millennium Approaches,” “Perestroika” continues the complex and fantastical examination of homosexuality, race, and AIDS in 1980s America. Fighting illness and losing hope, Prior Walter is hesitant to become the prophet as demanded by the Angel. Roy Cohn is hospitalized, diagnosed with “liver cancer,” and under the care of Belize. Harper has disappeared and Joe’s mother has arrived to try to put her family back together. Perestroika is the thrilling conclusion to the is epic tale of love, loss, and destiny.

Experience “Angels in America: Parts I and II” back-to-back with marathon performances on May 5 and 11.



Thomas Karr, Director of Promotions and Outreach Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance


Da'Stanza Murphy, Information Officer College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts