Ohio Wesleyan’s production of ‘365 Days/365 Plays’ features students Kaya Ferrell as ‘Mother’ and Owen Rehak as ‘Father in ‘Father Comes Home From the Wars, Part 1,’ directed by student Isabelle Tinti-Kane. The play debuts Oct. 5 for five free performances. (Photo by Max Baker ’26)

‘365 Days/365 Plays’

Ohio Wesleyan to Present Five Performances of Pulitzer Prize-Winner’s Work Oct. 5-8

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, Ohio – In 2002, Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, began a journey to write one play every day for a year. The result is “365 Days/365 Plays,” a series of one-act scripts since produced in over 700 theaters worldwide, creating one of the largest grassroots collaborations in theater history.

Ohio Wesleyan University will become part of that collaboration in October, when the Department of Performing Arts presents 24 scripts from “365 Days/365 Plays” in five free performances between Oct. 5 and Oct. 8.

“Each play is independent, but important national themes will recur, including trauma, gun violence, immigration, war and its emotional aftermath, the treatment of women in our national society, and the LGBTQIA+ community’s fears in contemporary America,” said Bradford Sadler, artistic director of the OWU production.

“Rather than attempting to depict realism, the scripts use various presentational theatrical devices to encourage the audience to think critically about what they see, and come to conclusions and judgments shaped by the artistic choices of the production,” said Sadler, a 2005 Ohio Wesleyan graduate and Performing Arts lecturer.

Sadler is joined on the “365 Days/365 Plays” directing team by Lusie Cuskey, Ph.D., assistant professor of Performing Arts, and by Ohio Wesleyan students Dyna Bresson, Miriam Lang, Isabelle Tinti-Kane, and Chloe Williams. Each of the six team members will direct four scripts. OWU Technical Director Carrie Hurst designed the lights for the production, and Jaylene Jennings, a member of Columbus-based Available Light Theatre, designed the costumes.

“It was important to me to engage with students in the work of one of the preeminent theatrical creators of our time,” said Sadler, also a professional performer and director. “Suzan-Lori Parks continues to be extremely important. Not only did she win a 2023 Tony Award for the Broadway revival of her Pulitzer Prize-winning play ‘Topdog/Underdog,’ she also completed a second project of a play-a-day for a year, this one focused on our shared experiences of the quarantine of the COVID pandemic. This will also be the first time that OWU has produced a dramatic script written by an African-American woman.”

Twenty OWU students are performing various roles in the 24 individual scripts. Their names and hometowns are:

  • Graham Anderson-Reitz of Cleveland, Ohio
  • Aliyanna Badger of Fort Worth, Texas
  • Willow Brown of Elyria, Ohio
  • Abby Colbow of Mentor, Ohio
  • Sam Conti of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Adrian Enrique of Farmington, Connecticut
  • Kaya Ferrell of Delaware, Ohio
  • Katie Fink of Delaware, Ohio
  • Morgan Giofreddo of Castalia, Ohio
  • Madison Klinger of Wickliffe, Ohio
  • Evan Large of Lima, Ohio
  • Ella Lazare of Oakland, California
  • Milo Morton of Dover, Delaware
  • Gillian Murray of Fairfield Township, Ohio
  • Michael Nimrick of Solon, Ohio
  • Kai Nordlund of Galloway, Ohio
  • Owen Rehak of Cleveland, Ohio
  • Haleigh Stover of Marion, Ohio
  • Elizabeth Sumoza of Chicago, Illinois
  • Maja Todorovic of Chicago, Illinois

Nine OWU students are filling key production jobs. Their names, hometowns, and responsibilities are:

  • Pedro Oliveira Figueiredo of Salvador, Brazil, stage manager
  • Dyna Bresson of Columbus, Ohio, student director
  • Miriam Lang of Westerville, Ohio, student director
  • Isabelle Tinti-Kane of Marblehead, Massachusetts, student director
  • Chloe Williams of Wilmington, Ohio, student director
  • Max Baker of Chicago, Illinois, assistant stage manager
  • Brooke Black of Springfield, Ohio, assistant stage manager
  • Brielle DeCarolis of Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, assistant stage manager
  • Cassidy Kellogg of The Bronx, New York, assistant stage manager

“365 Days/365 Plays” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, 6, and 7, and 2 p.m. Oct. 7 and 8 in the Studio Theatre of Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware. The plays contain adult themes and are not suitable for children. Admission is free, but reservations are required by visiting EventBrite beginning two weeks before the show debuts. For questions, call the box office at (740) 368-3855.

For more information about OWU’s 2023-2024 performance schedule or about studying theatre and dance at Ohio Wesleyan, visit owu.edu/PerformingArts.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature experience, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to understand issues from multiple academic perspectives, volunteer in service to others, build a diverse and global perspective, and translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience through internships, research, and other hands-on learning. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at owu.edu/experts or learn more at owu.edu.