North Central News

Senior directs “Wonder of the World” by Pulitzer-winning playwright

Oct 12, 2017

North Central College presents “Wonder of the World,” a dark comedy by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by senior Emily Marrazzo as part of the College’s Student Directed Series.

Five performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18, 19 and 21 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 21-22 in North Central’s theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St. Tickets are $5/adults and $3/students and seniors; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit This production includes mature language.

“Wonder of the World” follows the story of a young woman named Cass who discovers a dark secret about her husband, Kip. Feeling betrayed, Cass hops on a bus to Niagara Falls in search of freedom and enlightenment. During the trip, she befriends a blithely suicidal alcoholic and falls for a sailor while being hunted by a pair of bickering detectives hired by her husband to track her down.

“Cass feels trapped in her marriage and will do anything to remove herself from that situation as fast as she can,” said Marrazzo. “My cast and I want to understand the psychology behind the actions made in this show, whether it be from the perspective of a woman running from her husband, or her husband who will do anything to get her back.”

Marrazzo has enjoyed the chance to explore the heroine’s feelings and struggles. After studying abroad in England, Marrazzo found a connection with Cass’ desire to find something new. “I connect with Cass and her adventures in ‘Wonder of the World,’” said Marrazzo. “I validate her desires by having explored my own. I know what it’s like to crave change and to yearn to find yourself in an environment that is extremely unfamiliar.”

[photo, below, from left: Jordan DePhillips as Cass, Dylan Obrochta as Captain Mike, Naomi Lares as Janie, Jake Parsons as Kip]

Despite the serious subject matter, Lindsay-Abaire’s whimsical writing makes Cass’ journey of self-discovery a wild ride. “‘Wonder of the World’ is blaring with comedy and absurdity that will put an audience into hysterics while still asking the hard-hitting questions on what it truly means to create your own happiness,” said Marrazzo.

This play is part of North Central’s Student Directed Series. Members of the theatre faculty invite students to submit a proposal to direct their own theatrical productions and only the best are chosen. Marrazzo’s is one of two selected for the year.

The cast is (role, name, town, year, major):
Cass: Jordan DePhillips of Minooka, a senior majoring in musical theatre and marketing
Lois: Stephanie Milroy of Marysville, Ohio, a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Captain Mike: Dylan Obrochta of Morris, a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Glen: Victor Rodriguez of Aurora, a freshman majoring in theatre
Kip: Jake Parsons of Lockport, a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Janie: Naomi Lares of Plainfield, a freshman majoring in neuroscience
Karla: Grace Burmahl of Geneseo, a freshman majoring in musical theatre

Production team is (role, name, town, year, major):
Director: Emily Marrazzo of Algonquin, a senior majoring in theatre
Stage manager: Ruby Lowe of Aurora, a senior majoring in theatrical design and technology
Assistant director: Tyler Meyers of Elmwood, a junior majoring in theatre and organizational communication
Assistant stage managers: Grace Vestuto of Kildeer, a freshman majoring in English writing, and Rebecca Rogers of Elmhurst, a freshman majoring in choral music education
Lighting designer: Stacey Adams of Plainfield, a senior majoring in theatre and musical theatre
Sound designer: Matt Hehl of Plainfield, a sophomore majoring in broadcast communication
Costume designer: Erin Huggins of Aurora, a junior majoring in theatre and organizational communication
Co-props masters: Cienna Gilley of Macomb, a senior majoring in actuarial science, and Nicole Borowski of Itasca, a senior majoring in theatre
Co-scenic designers: Destany Hahn of Lisle, a freshman majoring in theatrical design and technology, and Sam Lee of Ankeny, Iowa, a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Hair/makeup designer: Abigail Boegh of Jenks, Okla., a senior majoring in musical theatre
Posters/publicity: DJ Wohead of Lemont, a senior majoring in interactive media: graphic arts
Design mentor: Alexander James Poe of Thousand Oaks, Calif., a junior majoring in theatre and theatrical design and technology

North Central College offers majors in theatre, musical theatre, theatrical design and technology, and a minor in dance. Students of all majors can participate in musical and nonmusical performances, actor showcases and one-act plays and performances in the College’s four theatre venues. Full-time professors and active professionals who are artist-teachers serve as faculty.

[photo, below, from left: Dylan Obrochta as Captain Mike, Stephanie Milroy as Lois]