'Dear Edwina' Dispenses Life Advice

Apr 13, 2021

Cal U theatre program spring play will be presented April 23-25.

dear edwina scene

Scott (Daniel Nuttall) helps Edwina (Marissa Sorenson) show children how to properly set a table.

“Dear Edwina” 
Showtimes: 7 p.m. April 23-24 and 2 p.m. April 24-25.
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People have questions; “Dear Edwina” has answers. 

The musical, performed by students in Cal U’s theatre program and scheduled to be streamed April 23-25, explores the joys of growing up, through the eyes of 13-year-old Edwina Spoonapple. 

In her quest to be chosen for the Kalamazoo Advice-a-Palooza Festival, Edwina tackles the world’s problems from the family garage when a talent scout from the convention visits her town. Musical numbers tackle everything from birthday party etiquette to proper table settings. 

“We wanted something happy and light,” said Dr. Michele Pagen, Cal U theatre professor and Dear Edwina director. “When we got the students together for the first read-through, they were laughing — some of them very, very hard — at the funny things. I wanted us to do something meaningful and also something that made our hearts happy.” 

The show, which is suitable for adults and children, will be recorded and streamed through ShowTix4U as part of the Dear Edwina licensing agreement, Pagen said. 

Audiences have not yet returned to watch student productions in Steele Hall, but students have rehearsed in person during the spring semester, while following COVID-19 safety protocols. 

“Most theater events are happening remotely if they’re happening at all,” Pagen said of the state of the entertainment industry during the pandemic. “I told our students that we cannot take this for granted because not everyone has the opportunity that we have. We are doing this show for everyone else who can’t. 

“There’s just such an air of positivity, because we are doing what our hearts need to do.”