Goodnight Desdemona
(Good Morning Juliet)

A parody by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Illustration by Bill Burgard

Oct. 2-4 & 9-11 at 8 PM
Oct. 5 & 12 at 2 PM
Trueblood Theatre


newsletter | press release
program |photographs



From our Newsletter
A Rising Canadian Star
Ann-Marie MacDonald is a multi-talented woman with an engaging literary voice. A Toronto-based writer and actress, she is known worldwide for her best-selling novel "Fall On Your Knees," an Oprah's Book Club selection. While "Fall On Your Knees" has been translated into 17 languages and has earned the author numerous awards, including two Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards, the Canadian Author's Association Award, and a 1997 Commonwealth Prize (an annual award for fiction writers who hail from the various countries of the British Commonwealth), the book is not her only celebrated work. On October 2-5 and 9-12, the University of Michigan's Department of Theatre and Drama presents Ann-Marie MacDonald's hilarious and award-winning play "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)." The play tells the story of Constance Ledbelly, a PhD student who is writing her thesis on an obscure document that she believes will prove Shakespeare had prepared different endings for two of his most famous plays. She hopes to prove that Romeo and Juliet and Othello were intended to be comedies! As she invests herself further into her research, Constance is given a magical opportunity to prove her thesis when she disappears into her wastebasket and enters a world where she comes face-to-face with Desdemona and Juliet. But "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)" is more than just a clever farce. Constance's experiences provide the audience with a view of her journey of self-discovery. Through the course of the drama we revel as Constance finds and reaffirms her self-confidence and frees herself from the harmful influence of her mentor, who up until then had manipulated her and passed her work off as his own. "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)" was first produced by the Nightwood Theatre in Toronto in 1988. Although she is becoming increasingly known as a novelist (she released her second novel, "The Way The Crow Flies," in 2003), MacDonald is still devoted to the theater as a performer and playwright. Her early works for the theater include the play "The Arab's Mouth" and the libretto for the opera "Nigredo Hotel." Her latest theater production is the new musical comedy "Anything that Moves," scripted by MacDonald and Alisa Palmer, with lyrics by MacDonald and music by Allen Cole. All of her plays have been produced numerous times in Canada and several have toured internationally.




Press Release
UM DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE AND DRAMA OPENS SEASON WITH "GOODNIGHT DESDEMONA (GOOD MORNING JULIET)"
ANN ARBOR - The University of Michigan Department of Theatre and Drama presents "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)," a comic play by Ann-Marie MacDonald. The play is performed at the Trueblood Theatre, located within the Frieze Building at 105 S. State Street in Ann Arbor. Performances run October 2-4 and 9-11, 8:00 p.m., as well as October 5 and 12 at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $15 general admission with students only $8 with ID. Tickets are available at the League Ticket Office, located within the Michigan League on the U-M Central Campus. The Ticket Office is open from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday and 10am-1pm on Saturday. Order by phone at (734) 764-2538. All major credit cards are accepted.

Toronto resident Ann-Marie MacDonald is known worldwide for her best-selling novel "Fall On Your Knees," an Oprah's Book Club selection. Although she has just released her second novel, 2003's "The Way the Crow Flies," MacDonald's background is as a writer and actress in the theater. "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)" is her most celebrated work. It was first produced at the Nightwood Theatre in Toronto in 1988. It has since been presented in over 70 productions worldwide, and has received numerous awards including the Governor General's Award for Drama, the Chalmer's Award and the Canadian Author's Association Award.

Using quotations from Shakespeare as well as original prose, "Goodnight Desdemona" tells the story of Constance Ledbelly, a PhD student who is writing her thesis on an obscure document that she believes will prove Shakespeare had prepared different endings for two of his most famous plays. As she invests herself further into her research, Constance is given a magical opportunity to prove her thesis when she disappears into her wastebasket and enters a world where she comes face-to-face with Desdemona and Juliet. But "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)" is more than just a clever farce. Constance's experiences provide the audience with a view of her journey of self-discovery. Through the course of the drama Constance finds and reaffirms her self-confidence and frees herself from the harmful influence of her mentor, who up until then had manipulated her and passed her work off as his own.

Describing the play, the Memphis Commercial Appeal wrote "Imagine a collaboration among Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll and Woody Allen, and you have the essence of Goodnight Desdemona."

Director Suzi Regan is a resident artist at the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, MI. As an actress she recently appeared in Lanford Wilson's Rain Dance at New York's Signature Theatre. Her work as director includes the plays "Labor Day" and "Beast on the Moon," both at the Purple Rose.

Joining Regan in preparing this production is Associate Director Tami Evans. Ms. Evans is also a visiting artist from New York. UM faculty members Gary Decker (lighting design) and Christianne Myers (costume design) also join the production. Mr. Decker's UM credits include scenic design for 2001's "Don't Dress for Dinner," as well as numerous scenic designs. Ms. Myers' costume designs include last season's productions of "Xerxes" and "Hamlet." The scenic design for the production is by Janine Woods, an undergraduate in the Theatre Department's design program. ###




Program
Click here to view the Goodnight Desdemona program as a PDF file




Production Photographs



Romeo (Brian Luskey) and Juliet (Maureen Sebastian) Constance Ledbelly (Beth Hoyt)




Professor Night (De'Lon Grant) Brian Luskey




Iago (Brian Luskey) and Desdemona (Jen Freidel) Chorus




Jen Freidel Beth Hoyt and Jen Freidel




Beth Hoyt, JoAnna Spanos and De'Lon Grant Romeo (Brian Luskey) and Juliet - the morning after!




Maureen Sebastian Beth Hoyt and Brian Luskey




Juliet (Maureen Sebastian) and her nurse (Anika Habermas-Scher)




Cast Juliet, Desdemona, and Constance finally all talk