Jeff Daniels' New Comedy, Norma & Wanda, a Tale of Sibling Revelry, Premieres Jan. 20 | Playbill

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News Jeff Daniels' New Comedy, Norma & Wanda, a Tale of Sibling Revelry, Premieres Jan. 20 Actor-playwright Jeff Daniels' new comedy, Norma & Wanda, gets its world premiere by the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, Michigan, Jan. 20-March 19.

At the theatre Daniels founded in small-town Michigan, Purple Rose artistic director Guy Sanville will direct the tale of "two very different sisters as they get themselves into an outrageous pickle with an old high school boyfriend, a chaotic church social and a secret family recipe for Christmas sausage," according to the announcement.

Norma & Wanda is recommended for mature audiences and is in the tradition of hugely popular (and slightly absurdist) Daniels plays there — Thy Kingdom's Coming, Escanaba in da Moonlight and The Vast Difference.


The title roles will be played by PRTC resident artists Sandra Birch and Michelle Mountain, who have appeared together in the company's Across The Way, Blithe Spirit and Book of Days .

The cast also includes Terry Heck, Grant Krause, Jim Porterfield and Chris Korte. "Norma & Wanda is a hilarious farce," Sanville said in production notes. "And, like all really good farce, there's something wacky and a little dark underneath."

The creative team includes set designer Daniel C. Walker, lighting designer Dana White, costume designer by Christianne Myer, prop designer Danna Segrest and sound designer Quintessa Gallinat.

Opening night is Jan. 28. Performances play Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM with Saturday matinees at 3 PM and Sunday matinees at 2 PM.

All performances are at The Purple Rose Theatre Company's home at 137 Park Street in Chelsea, 20 minutes west of Ann Arbor and 60 miles west of Detroit.

For tickets or information, call Purple Rose Theatre Company at (734) 433-ROSE or visit


Daniels has written nine plays for the Purple Rose Theatre Company. His other work includes Shoe Man, The Tropical Pickle, The Vast Difference, Thy Kingdom's Coming, Escanaba in da Moonlight, Apartment 3A, Boom Town and Across The Way.

Jeff tripled as actor-writer-director on Purple Rose Films' "Escanaba in da Moonlight" and "Super Sucker," winner of the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2002 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

Upcoming films in which he'll appear include "Imaginary Heroes with Sigourney Weaver, "Because of Winn Dixie" with Eva Marie Saint, Cicely Tyson and Dave Matthews, and "The Squid and the Whale" opposite Laura Linney. He recently appeared in the TV film of Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet in Heaven."

The new CD "Jeff Daniels, Onstage & Unplugged" is available in the PRTC lobby or online at; all proceeds benefit the Purple Rose.

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