Cal U sets the stage for their spring play ”The Drowsy Chaperone”


“The Sleepy Riding Hood” is set to be the first play since COVID-19.

Cal U’s theater returns with a jazzy start featuring the Drowsy Chaperone as the spring play. The play will start at 7 p.m.. April 7-9 and 2 p.m. April 9-10. Michele Pagen, who runs the show at Cal U’s Steele Hall Theater, said the play is fun and will be enjoyed by audiences 13 and older.

“The play is fun for the cast and the audience will have fun watching it,” Pagen said.

The play revolves around “The Man in Chair”, a bored and anxious Broadway fanatic who, to relieve his “unspecific grief”, listens to a recording of The Drowsy Chaperone, a fictional 1928 musical. He is transported to the show while listening to this unique recording. Her seedy apartment is transformed into a standout Broadway stage with railings, gleaming furniture, painted backdrops, and glamorous costumes as the characters appear.

The main character “The Man in the Chair”, is played by Elijah Gilbert. Gilbert is a Cal U senior. Gilbert describes his character as a hermit with a passion for musicals. Gilbert describes having to study extensively for this role. Especially since the first five minutes of the game are just him talking.

“I watched the original Broadway cast a lot, and a lot of time to sit and memorize the text,” Gilbert said.

As the play continues throughout the apartment, the play becomes centered around two characters, Robert Martin and Janet Van De Graaf. Janet Van De Graaf is played by Cal U senior Amanda Peters. Character Van De Graaf is a star of Feldzieg’s follies. The Follies were outlandish Broadway performers typical of high-class musicals from the 1900s through the 1930s. Van De Graaf is conflicted about giving up his stage life to marry Robert Martin. Robert is played by Cal U senior Shane Callahan. Robert Martin is the groom-to-be who is madly in love with Janet.

Callahan hopes audiences can walk away with their own personal experience of love and happiness from the play.

“I just hope they take away the laughs and the happiness that the show creates,” Callahan said.

This performance will be the first at Cal U since “Elf” in 2019. There are performances at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday April and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

For tickets, visit or call the Cal U box office at 724-938-5943.


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