Take a Hilarious Trip beyond the Bridge in Avon Players’ Escanaba in da Moonlight

The plight of an unlucky hunter yields big laughs in this super yooper comedy from Michigan’s own Jeff Daniels

Audience members may find themselves craving pasties after spending a fun-filled evening with a group of wacky deer hunters as they engage in the requisite beer-fueled ritual of tall tales and one-upmanship in Avon Players’ Escanaba in da Moonlight, running Friday, January 20 through Saturday, February 4.

From left to right: Patrick Butcher of Rochester as “Reuben,” Mark Palmer of Shelby Twp. as “Albert” and Toby Booker of Warren as “Remnar.” Photo Credit: Bryan Clifford.

On the eve of opening day of deer season, members of the Soady family gather at their deer camp. Reuben Soady (Patrick Butcher), the oldest Soady in history not to have bagged a buck, is intent on proving he is not jinxed and shedding the title of the “the buckless yooper.”  Before the morning comes, however, the hunting party, including family patriarch Albert (Mark Palmer), Reuben’s dim-witted brother Remnar (Toby Booker), and local odd-ball Jimmer (Chris Stepnitz), is visited by the rattled Ranger Tom (Steve Grady) as a series of inexplicable occurrences threaten Reuben’s mission.

Playwright Jeff Daniels is the founder of The Purple Rose Theatre Company in his hometown of Chelsea, Michigan, where Escanaba in da Moonlight had its world debut. Emmy-award winner Daniels is also known for his body of work as an actor in films (Terms of Endearment, Dumb and Dumber), television (The Newsroom), and theatre (God of Carnage, Blackbird).

Tickets for all shows are $18 ($16 on Sundays for students and seniors). Call 248-608-9077 for tickets or order online at www.AvonPlayers.org. Group rates are available by calling the box office. “Like” Avon Players Theatre on Facebook for special offers on tickets. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.  All seats are reserved.  Show dates and times follow:

Friday, January 20        8:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 21    8:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 22       2:00 p.m.

Friday, January 27         8:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 28    8:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 29       2:00 p.m.

Friday, February 3           8:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 4      8:00 p.m.

About Avon Players

Founded in 1947, Avon Players is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit community theatre located along the winding banks of Stoney Creek in the quaint Historic District of Rochester Hills, only about two miles from the heart of downtown Rochester. Avon Players has been performing shows in its unique A-frame theater since 1965. With ticket prices set at a fraction of those at professional theatre (plus free parking and concessions on a donation basis) a family of four can experience a sensational live theatrical event for about the cost of one ticket at a “downtown” venue. And for regular theatre-goers, an affordable outing can be an even better bargain by taking advantage of Avon Players’ season ticket packages, which yield discounts of up to 21% per ticket. Additionally, season ticket holders enjoy priority seating selection and voting privileges in Avon’s annual “Stoney Awards.” Additional information regarding tickets and productions is available by calling the Avon Players box office at 248.608.9077 or by visiting the website: www.AvonPlayers.org.

Cast and Production Staff by Community:


Chris Stepnitz (“Jimmer”)


Tina Castiglione (Set Dress)


Sharon Jourdan (Props Design)


Patrick Butcher (“Reuben”)

Rochester Hills

John (JD) Deierlein  (Production Design)

Peggy Deierlein (Producer)

Brad Holoday (Hair and Make-Up Design)

Louise Holoday (Hair and Make-Up Design)

Shelby Township

Lesa Bydalek (Director)

Jennifer Combs (Costume Design)

Mark Palmer (“Albert”)


Steve Grady (“Ranger Tom”)


Toby Booker (“Remnar”)



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