Theatre NOVA Announces Return to In-Person Productions for 2021-2022

ANN ARBOR – Theatre NOVA, Ann Arbor’s resident nonprofit professional theatre, is thrilled to announce its return to in-person productions.

Founding Artistic Director Carla Milarch said, “We’re back and better than ever! We couldn’t be more thrilled to be heading back into the rehearsal room and theatre to prepare our first in-person production since March of 2020. We’re grateful to the community for their support in getting through the pandemic intact and financially viable. In particular, we’re thrilled to present four plays that feature the work of our own Michigan playwrights, composers, and arrangers.”

True to our mission of raising awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and playwrights, it will be a season of Michigan and world premieres, with three Michigan premieres  (plays being produced for the first time in Michigan) and two world premieres (plays making their debut for the first time.) We’re proud to produce the hottest new plays at affordable prices, including pay-what-you-can tickets available for those who need them.

For the health, safety, and well-being of our patrons, staff, and artists, COVID safety measures will be in place. All of the artists and staff participating in the season will be required to be fully vaccinated, and patrons must bring proof of vaccination and wear a mask while in the building. Unvaccinated patrons will not be admitted. This policy is subject to change at any time, in accordance with fluctuating local, state, and federal guidelines. Please check our website for our current policy before attendance.

Theatre NOVA also offers a subscription program as the best way to see quality programs at a discounted price. Subscribers save up to 20% off single ticket prices and guarantee their seats for all our plays this season. In addition, 2019-2020 season subscribers will receive a credit for the shows they missed due to the mandatory shutdown mid-season in 2020.

Theatre NOVA’s 2021-2022 season opens September 17 with the Michigan premiere of “Lifespan of a Fact” by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, which runs through October 10, 2021. Jim Fingal had one job: to fact-check renowned essayist John D’Agata’s piece for the high-profile magazine where he interns. But the more Jim digs, the more “alternative facts” he discovers in the article. Soon he finds himself in an all-out battle of truth versus fiction with the famous author. Based on the true story of D’Agata’s essay “What Happens There,” “The Lifespan of a Fact” is a hilarious examination of how sometimes cold hard facts do not necessarily lead to the truth. Directed by Carla Milarch. Featuring Andrew HuffJustin Montgomery, and Diane Hill.

The season continues October 28 through November 7, 2021, with a limited engagement of “Sing Happy!” featuring music by John Kander and Fred Ebb, with musical arrangements by R. MacKenzie Lewis. A fundraiser for Theatre NOVA and presented in concert, “Sing Happy!” is a celebration of the work of Broadway’s famous duo, Kander and Ebb. An ensemble of singers will take the stage with showstoppers from “Cabaret,” “Chicago,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” and many others while weaving a tale of strength and determination. Directed by Diane Hill, with Music Direction by R. MacKenzie Lewis. Featuring Jason Briggs, Kristin Clark, John DeMerell, K Edmonds, Diane Hill, Elizabeth Jaffe, Sarah Stevens, Connor Thomas Rhoades, and Roy Sexton.

For the holidays, Theatre NOVA presents “An Almost British Christmas” by Carla Milarch & R. MacKenzie Lewis, running December 3, 2021 through January 2, 2022. This year we update the panto that started it all with our holiday romp through the frozen tundra of the North Pole. Set on one famous foggy Christmas Eve, kids ages 2 to 102 will delight in this rollicking musical theatre entertainment. Complete with colorful holiday characters, dastardly villains, original tunes and parodies of popular songs, slapstick comedy, and audience participation, this beloved Theatre NOVA tradition is fun for the entire family. Directed by Carla Milarch.

Opening the new year is the world premiere of “Arabic to English” by David Wellsrunning January 28 through February 20, 2022. In a high-stakes trial, an Arab American man is accused of fraudulent marriage to gain a visa. Losing in court will send him to a country he barely knows. His interpreter, a young Arab American woman, is on the verge of entering a storybook American life, about to marry his white American trial lawyer. When romance blossoms between the interpreter and the defendant, it may be up to her to decide which words to translate and which to leave unspoken. Directed by Carla Milarch. Featuring Fedor Kinaya, Ronya Rose, and Joseph Sfair.

March 25 – April 17, 2022, we will present the Michigan Premiere TBA of a hot new play that we’re very excited about. Details will be released as soon as they are available.

In late spring, from May 20 through June 12, 2022, Theatre NOVA will present the Michigan premiere of “Relativity” by Mark St. Germain. In 1902, Mileva and Albert Einstein had a daughter. After 1904, the child was never seen or spoken of again. When a reporter interviews Einstein about his mysterious family history forty years later, even more personal secrets unfold. This delightful comedy by the author of Freud’s “Last Session” explores questions about exceptionalism, family, and the responsibilities of the heart. Directed by Carla Milarch. Featuring Anne DammanEllen Finch, and Phil Powers.

Finally, Theatre NOVA’s seventh show in its 2021-2022 season of premieres will be the world premiere of “God Kinda Looks Like Tupac” by Emilio Rodriguezrunning July 15 through August 7, 2022. When a young black high school student creates an unconventional portrait of God for a student art exhibition, her white and Latina teachers must decide whether to encourage her provocative approach or convince her to choose a more traditional path. But is it her expression that needs rethinking – or those that want her to assimilate? A fresh and funny exploration of political correctness and societal expectations that turns code-switching upside down. Directed by David Wolber.

Theatre NOVA is located at 410 W Huron St, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Performances are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. To accommodate families with children, “An Almost British Christmas” will hold performances on Fridays at 7:30 p.m, Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

General admission tickets for plays are $22. Tickets for the holiday musical panto are $25 for adults and $10 for children, and “Sing Happy!” tickets are $30. In addition, Theatre NOVA continues to make theatre accessible by offering pay-what-you-can tickets for those who need them at all performances, excluding our fundraiser, “Sing Happy!”

Tickets, memberships, flex passes, and subscriptions may be purchased online at Tickets may also be purchased in person one hour before each performance. Seating in the theatre will begin 30 minutes before each performance. There is ample free parking, and quick access to the city’s restaurants, bars, bakeries, and coffee shops. New patrons can find Theatre NOVA across Huron Street from Ann Arbor’s YMCA, through a parking lot entrance on the north side of the street. For more information, visit

Theatre NOVA’s mission is to raise awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and playwrights and to provide resources for playwrights to develop their craft by importing, exporting, and developing new work.



Theatre NOVA Staff: 

Carla Milarch, Founding Artistic Director

Diane Hill, Producing Artistic Director

David Wolber, Producing Artistic Director

Becky Fox, Education & Outreach

Daniel C. Walker, Production Director

Briana O’Neal, Resident Stage Manager

Megan Richards, House Manager


Ann Arbor’s Professional Theatre Season of Premieres 2021-2022



410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Box office: 734-635-8450




LIFESPAN OF A FACT by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell

September 17 – October 10, 2021

Fri., Sept. 17, 8:00 p.m. Opening Night

Sat., Sept. 18, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Sept. 19, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Sept. 23, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 24, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 25, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Sept. 26, 2:00p.m.

Thurs., Sept. 30, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 1, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 2, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 3, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Oct. 7, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 8, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 9, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 10, 2:00 p.m.

SING HAPPY! Music of Kander and Ebb

October 28 – November 7, 2021

Thu., Oct. 28, 8:00 p.m. Opening Night

Fri., Oct. 29, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 30, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 31, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Nov. 4, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Nov. 5, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Nov. 6, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Nov. 7, 2:00 p.m.

AN ALMOST BRITISH CHRISTMAS by Carla Milarch and R. Mackenzie Lewis

December 3, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Fri., Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m. Opening Night

Sat., Dec. 4, 3:00 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 5, 2:00 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 11, 3:00 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 12, 2:00 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 18, 3:00 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 19, 2:00 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 24, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 25, – No show

Sun., Dec. 26, 2:00 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 1, 3:00 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 1, 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 2, 2:00 p.m.


January 28 – February 20, 2022

Fri., Jan. 28, 8:00 p.m. Opening Night

Sat., Jan. 29, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 30, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Feb. 3, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 4, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 5, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 6, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Feb. 10, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 11, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 12, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 13, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Feb. 17, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 18, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 19, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 20, 2:00 p.m.


March 25 – April 17, 2022

Fri., Mar. 25, 8:00 p.m. Opening Night

Sat., Mar. 26, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 27, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Mar. 31, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Apr. 1, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Apr. 2, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Apr. 3, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Apr. 7, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Apr. 8, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Apr. 9, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Apr. 10, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Apr. 14, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Apr. 15, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Apr. 16, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Apr. 17, 2:00 p.m.

RELATIVITY by Mark St. Germain

May 20 – June 12, 2022

Fri., May 20, 8:00 p.m. Opening Night

Sat., May 21, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., May 22, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., May 26, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., May 27, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., May 28, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., May 29, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., June 2, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., June 3, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., June 4, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., June 5, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., June 9, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., June 10, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., June 11, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., June 12, 2:00 p.m.


July 15 – August 7, 2022

Fri., July 15, 8:00 p.m. Opening Night

Sat., July 16, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., July 17, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., July 21, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., July 22, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., July 23, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., July 24, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., July 28, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., July 29, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., July 30, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., July 31, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Aug. 4, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 5, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Aug. 6, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Aug. 7, 2:00 p.m.

Bios of Artistic Directors

CARLA MILARCH (Founding Artistic Director) is a former Artistic Director of the award-winning Performance Network Theatre, whose passion for new plays led her to found Theatre NOVA. As a dramaturg, director, and artistic director, she has brought over 25 brand new plays to world premieres, as well as hundreds to staged readings, including those at the Michigan Playwrights Festival, the Fireside New Play Festival, the National New Play Network (NNPN) National Showcase of New Plays, and the Kennedy Center’s MFA playwright’s showcase. She served as a board member on the NNPN for ten years and co-founded the Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance, on which she served as Board President from 2011-2014. Some awards include “Best Overall Season/Artistic Direction” from the Oakland Press, “Outstanding Contributions to an Ensemble” from The Detroit Free Press, “Most Valuable Performer” from the Oakland Press, and the Between the Lines “Angel” award for outstanding contributions to the LGBT community, as well as numerous awards for acting and direction.

DIANE HILL (Producing Artistic Director) was founder and Artistic/Executive Director of Two Muses Theatre, a nonprofit, professional theatre in West Bloomfield. There she performed in and directed many plays and musicals each year and did the work of technical director, publicist, sound designer, webmaster, and graphic designer for every production. Diane was a professor at University of Detroit Mercy and Oakland Community College, where she originated and designed the Theatre degree program. She has a Ph.D. in Theatre from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in Theatre from the University of Michigan. She previously taught high school drama and music in the public school system (Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor) for 20 years. Diane has additionally produced and directed shows for professional theatre companies, including Breathe Art Theatre Company in Detroit, Opus Mime in Ann Arbor, Jewish Ensemble Theatre in West Bloomfield, Tipping Point Theatre in Northville, Open Book Theatre, The Ringwald, and Heartlande Theatre Company in Detroit. Diane is an award-winning actor and has performed at many professional theatres in southeast Michigan, including the Fisher Theatre, Meadow Brook Theatre, Masonic Temple, Michigan Opera Theatre, Detroit’s Gem Theatre, Purple Rose Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, Encore Musical Theatre, Croswell Opera House, The Ringwald Theatre, Open Book Theatre, and Cherry County Playhouse. She was awarded a Wilde Award for Best Actress in “Wit,” a Rogue Critic’s Award for her work as Mama in “‘night, Mother,” both with Breathe Art Theatre Project, and an Ann Arbor News Award for Best Musical Theatre Actress for “I Do! I Do!” at Kerrytown Concert House. At Theatre NOVA, she won the Wilde Award for Best Lead Actress for “The How and the Why” and shares with her cast and design team the Council Cargle Award for Excellence in Diverse Storytelling for directing “Kill Move Paradise.”

DAVID WOLBER (Producing Artistic Director) is a Detroit-based actor and director. He served as the Artistic Director at Performance Network Theatre from 2007 to 2014. Wolber recently performed in “Williston” by Adam Seidel (“Best Supporting Actor” – Subscriber Artist of the Year Award) and ”Evidence of Things Unseen” by Katie Forgette at Detroit Repertory Theatre, ”Beau Jest” at Williamston Theatre, and ”The Snow Geese” by Sharr White at Meadow Brook Theatre, and he directed and co-devised ”Dream Deferred: Detroit, 1967” at Matrix Theatre. In 2018 he received a Wilde Award, “Best Play” for directing ”The Revolutionists” by Lauren Gunderson at Theatre NOVA. In 2017 he received three Wilde Awards: “Best Teamwork” with Pete Prouty and Cheryl Turski in ”Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” at Meadow Brook Theatre; then “Best One Person Show” for directing ”2.5 Minute Ride” by Lisa Kron at Matrix Theatre; and finally, he received “Best Actor” for his performance as Winston in ”1984” at Williamston Theatre. Favorite shows he has directed include ”Apple Season” by E.M. Lewis, ”Admissions” by Joshua Harmon, ”The How and the Why” by Sarah Treem, ”Dear Elizabeth” by Sarah Ruhl, ”Katherine” by Kim Carney, ”Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitz, ”I and You” by Lauren Gunderson, ”Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire, ”Dead Man’s Shoes” by Joseph Zettelmaier (Best New Script – Wilde Award 2012, and a co-production with Williamston Theatre), ”The Clean House” by Sarah Ruhl, ”Necessary Targets” by Eve Ensler, and many more. David has also performed and directed shows throughout the region and at the Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland. You may have seen him in a handful of commercials and independent Michigan films. David is an alumnus of Wayne State’s theatre program, a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, and an Associate Producer on Jasmine Rivera’s short film ”American Prophet.” Follow your path.