The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel won the Pullitzer Prize for Drama in 1971, as well as the New York Drama Critics award.It was subsequently made into a movie directed by Paul Newman and featured his wife Joanne Woodward.
Continuing family connections, this production features PK Van Voorhees as the mother Beatrice Hunsdorfer, who is constantly looking for a quick fix to get out of a life she feels trapped in. The two daughters struggle with their mother's volatile behavior, while trying to navigate high school as well. The oldest, Ruth, played by Grace Hinkley, struggles with seizures after a traumatic incident. The youngest, Tillie, played by Kaleel Van Voorhees dives into the magic of science and escapes the chaos of her home. Playing the elderly tenant Nannie, Judith Evans, offers an oblivious senior whose care drives Beatrice to frustration. Emily Stokes rounds out the cast as Janice Vickery, Tillie's competitor in the school science fair. The show is directed by Ixion Artistic Director, jeff croff.
Continuing a long family tradition starting with PK's mother, Theta Asiff, the Van Voorhees participate in and celebrate the arts in Lansing. PK runs The Studio Performing Arts Center, while Kaleel is active at The Studio and East Lansing High School's drama program. Locally, Kaleel has also participated in Riverwalk Theatre productions, which is where she met Ixion Artistic Director, jeff croff, during his production of Annie: The Musical, for which she was the understudy of the title character.
"This script seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring PK and Kaleel together on stage," observed croff. "The roles require them to get so far out of their comfort zones, but still benefit from the close family connection. Mr. Zindel's script reminds us how desperate, caring and chaotic family can be."
Ixion is an independent theatre based in Lansing, Michigan. It was created by theatre veteran and award-winning director jeff croff. The fourth and final production of Ixion's season will be Mother's Nature, a collection of three original works written by local playwrights.