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Stage Kiss Concludes Successful Run

The Wabash Theater Department will be opening up its spring season with a captivating and witty play that explores love, romance, and the complicated boundaries between reality and fiction.

The cast includes guest artist Krystal Hernandez as She and Drew Johannes ’23 as He.

“Stage Kiss” opens Wednesday, February 22, and runs through Saturday, February 25, with performances at 8 p.m. in the Experimental Theater (located in the basement of the Fine Arts Center) each evening.

Tickets are free and can be reserved through the Fine Arts Center Box Office.

“Stage Kiss,” written by Sarah Ruhl, follows two actors who were once lovers and are now reunited years later to perform as on-stage lovers in a new play.

“When two actors with a history are thrown together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930s melodrama, they quickly lose touch with reality as the story onstage follows them offstage,” said Director Michael Abbott. “It’s a charming tale about what happens when lovers share a stage kiss — or when actors share a real one.”

“The play will transport audiences into a world full of love, laughter, and unexpected twists,” he said. “You don't have to know anything about theater to enjoy it. ‘Stage Kiss’ is very funny and has something for everyone.”

The cast includes feature actor Krystal Hernandez as She; Drew Johannes ’23 as He; Tommy Oppman ’25 as Director; Dario Banuelos ’23 as Kevin, Butler, Doctor, and Pimp; Luke Fincher ’24 as Husband and Harrison; Betsy Swift as Laurie and Millicent;  and Delada Mudd as Angela, Millie, and Maid. Carson Wirtz ’26 is the production stage manager.

The production includes scenic design by Adam Whittredge, costume design by Andrea Bear, and lighting design by Bailey Rosa.

Hernandez, a professional actress, singer, and member of the Actors Equity Association from Boston, said she was thrilled when she received the request from Abbott to participate in “Stage Kiss.”

“Because I can sing, I get cast in a lot of musicals. I rarely ever get to do plays and I love plays,” said Hernandez, who’s visit is supported by the McGregor Visiting Artist Fund. “I studied Sarah Ruhl in college, so when this jumped in my lap, I knew I had to do it!”

Sarah Ruhl’s unique voice and inventive storytelling make “Stage Kiss” an unforgettable theatrical experience.Abbott said being able to bring professionals to Wabash is a special opportunity for theater and art students.

“There’s nothing I can do here as a director to exemplify the experience of working in a professional setting that does that better than bringing in a professional actor,” Abbott said. “It’s been fun to watch the students interact and learn from her, and see what this kind of world is all about.”

“I’m having a wonderful time. There is something so comforting about being back in an educational setting,” Hernandez added. “These students are so smart and talented!

“I encourage everyone to come see ‘Stage Kiss’ to support your friends, fellow brothers, and your community,” she said. “You never know, one of these students could be famous one day. You want to be the one to say, ‘I knew them when!’”