EMU Theater Launches School Year with Student-Directed Musical Comedy

EMU Theater will launch the new school year with four performances of the student-directed play “The Last Five Years,” a contemporary musical comedy that will star EMU seniors Stephen Kniss and Kelsey Landes.

EMU seniors Stephen Kniss and Kelsey Landes
Stephen Kniss and Kelsey Landes are featured performers in “The Last Five Years,” also directed by Kniss. (Photo by Jon Styer)

The 90-minute play, written and composed by Jason Robert Brown, is being presented 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28 and the same times Sept. 1, 3 and 4 on the Thomas Plaza of the EMU Campus Center. There is a short intermission.

Kniss directs for second time

Kniss, who also directs the show, calls is “a realistic, poignant look at a five-year relationship between a writer and actor, from the first date to the end, told from both points of view. It has beautiful music, and anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship should be able to relate to the play.”

Kniss, a vocal performance and digital media major from Chicago, made his directing debut in November 2009 with “ANON(ymous),” by Naomi Iizuka. He later wrote about the experience in The Weather Vane, EMU’s student newspaper.

Students and alums behind the scenes

Piano accompaniment is by EMU sophomore Phillip Martin and Goshen (Ind.) College graduate Josh Tyson.

Set designer is EMU junior Jamie Hiner; light designer is Mark Fenton, EMU alumnus; and stage managers are EMU alumna Sarah Harder and EMU junior Susan Alexander.

General admission to the play is $5. Tickets are available by calling 540-432-4360 will also be available at the door.

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