By A.R. Gurney

October 7, 8, 9 at 7:30 pm
October 10 at 2 pm

The Bill & Jean Buchanan Stage
Goppert Performing Arts Center
Avila University
11901 Wornall Road
Kansas City, MO 64105

Face masks and social distancing are required.


To reserve tickets, please contact our Box Office via telephone at 816.501.3699 or email at

Dinner Theatre $30

*Available for October 8-9 productions of Sylvia

Regular Tickets

Regular — $10
Seniors — $8
Non-Avila Students — $8
Avila Students — FREE

Children under 10 receive free entry at all Avila Performing Arts events

Who’s Who

Learn more about Sylvia’s cast, staff, and crew!


McKenna Sanford
Adrianna Wendel
Christian Lucas
Tyler Lundquist
Ariana Givens
Gaby Koch
Richard Bertoldie
Tucker Rushing

Production Staff

DirectorJan Rogge
Scenic/Digital Media Designer
Costume DesignerShannon Smith-Regnier
Lighting DesignerTinna Rivera
Sound DesignerDavin Zamora
Properties DesignerIsabella Brauner
Stage ManagerTinna Rivera
Technical Director
Assistant Stage ManagersEllie Peoples, Gabriella Fast, Stephanie Hatesohl
Assistant Scenic DesignersTyler Lundquist, Isabella Brauner
Assistant Costume DesignersSamantha Reiner, Kelsey Harms
Assistant Lighting DesignersTalia Hinckley, Kaitlyn White
Assistant Sound DesignerRichard Bertoldie
Box Office SupervisorAlexandra Pilley

Production Crew

Scenic Change ArtistAdrianna Wendel
Paint CrewRachel Howard, Ta’ha Snipes, Lynn Winkler, Ariana Givens
Props CrewIzaak Kimsey, Gaby Koch, Danielle Adcock, McKenna Sanford
Master CarpenterTyler Lundquist
CarpentersChristian Lucas, Tyler Rushing, Darwyn Thompson
CostumesHannah Zimmerman, Abby Dearing
ElectriciansCharlie Parsons, Talisha Williams
Light Board OperatorKaitlyn White
Spotlight OperatorsTucker Rushing, Charlie Parsons
Sound Board OperatorDavin Zamora
Sound SupervisorHannah Zimmerman
Run CrewGaby Koch, Talisha Williams, Darwyn Thompson
Wardrobe CrewSamantha Reiner, Abby Dearing, Talisha Williams
Production OfficeMatt Schwader Harbor, Adrianna Wendel, Tinna Rivera
House ManagerMolly Zagorski
Voice CoachesDr. Amity Bryson, Kristy Ruf, Dr. Aaron Redburn
Box OfficeAriana Hernandez, Daniel Hicks

Performing Arts Faculty

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social SciencesDr. Charlene Gould
Chair of Performing ArtsDr. Amity Bryson
Director of Performance StudiesMatt Schwader Harbor
Director of Design and Technology
Artist in ResidenceDr. Michalis Koutsoupides
Adjunct FacultyChioma Anyanwu
Jim Fletcher
Hope Goertzen
Nicole Green
John Livingston
Gene Mackey
Andy Perkins
Dr. Aaron Redburn
Kristina Ruf
Shannon Smith-Regnier
Dana Woolard-Hughlett
Alexandra Pilley

Special Acknowledgments

Advancement Office
Belinda Troxler and Bob Crow
Maintenance and Housekeeping
Great Western Dining
Office of Marketing and Communication
Brad Hensley
Canine Ambassador, “Buster” Rogge

Director’s Notes

When I was offered to direct Sylvia at Avila University, I was thrilled to have a chance to work on an A.R. Gurney play. I had the good fortune of working with him at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. I understudied the role of the daughter in his 4-character world premiere play The Cocktail Hour. He was an absolute joy to watch him work and continually rewrite and develop the script.

SYLVIA, written in 1995, is a rather unusual comedy because the title role is a dog that is played by a human. His other plays include Love Letters, The Dining Room, and The Cocktail Hour. A.R Gurney, who passed away in 2017, admitted that the play was rejected by many producers because “it equated a dog with a woman, and to ask a woman to play a dog was not just misogynist, but blatantly sexist.” Mr. Gurney did not agree, and he once noted that his play has a “timely message of the need to connect in an increasingly alien and impersonal world. There is a need to connect, not only to a dog, but to other people through the dog.” He wrote the title role for Sarah Jessica Parker who also originated the role on Broadway.

Working on this play, through A.R. Gurney’s perspective, I find this play utterly charming. We both share a deep love for our dog companions. He touches on the challenges of a long-term marriage between Greg and Kate that gets unexpectedly interrupted by a stray dog that he brings home. Sylvia, the dog, represents to Greg a longing for a deeper connection to his wife, his world, and his life. All of a sudden, Kate must fight for her marriage and discover what is most important in her life.

My dog, Buster, was invited to rehearsals as a muse for the cast and he loved every minute of it. And I think everybody felt a little happier seeing Buster in the room.

As Greg proudly pronounces, “We should all have dogs. It should be put in the constitution”.

—Jan Rogge, Director

Arts at Avila


Heather Noble
Marcia, Jean & Rosie Pasqualini
Pattie & Kevin Robertson
Regina Staves, Ph.D. & Ryan Staves
Scott & Diann White


Wendy & John Acker
Amy Bucher
Darby Gough
Paul & Mary LeCluyse
Drs. Larry & Jan Marsh
Sue Ellen McCalley
Mr. Nick & Dr. Amy Milakovic
Dr. Cathy Miller
David & Maggie Mohrfeld Davis
Alicia & Randy Murillo
Benjamin Pascoe
Blair & Sue Penney
Matt Schwader Harbor
Diana & Jim Taylor
Nancy J. White
Susan & Chris Winters
Mr. & Mrs. Sabin Yanez


Anonymous gift in honor of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
Walter Brandes
Dr. Amity H. Bryson
Bill & Jean Buchanan
Lauren E. Chiodo-Benmuvhar
Constance M. Cooper Charitable Foundation
Mr. Bob Crow &
Mrs. Belinda R. Troxler
Roderick J. & Jo Anne Cyr Foundation
Joseph & Susan Fahey
Dave & Geri Frantze
Vita Goppert Charitable Trust
Richard & Charlene Gould
Dr. Andy Jett & Brad Ozias
Drs. Larry & Jan Marsh
Anya, Suzanne & Dr. Jeffrey Myers
Robert M. Scoles 88’
Victor E. & Caroline E. Shutte Foundation
Dr. Ronald A. & Mrs. Suzanne Slepitza
Dr. Jordan Wagge
Jim & Sue Willcox
David & Ginny Woy

Ticket Information

Reserve tickets by calling the Box Office at 816.501.3699 for more information.

Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinee performances begin at 2 p.m.

Season Tickets

Regular — $30
Seniors — $28

Dinner Theatre


*Available for October 8-9 productions of Sylvia

Regular Tickets

Regular — $10
Seniors — $8
Non-Avila Students — $8
Avila Students — FREE

Children under 10 receive free entry at all Avila Performing Arts events

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