The Mercy Street Theatre Company, an ensemble founded and led by Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alumni, celebrates the winter holidays with Merry Christmas, Mulch Pile!, a comedy by Columbia alum Dakota Parobek ’15, a graduate of Columbia College’s BA program in playwriting.
In the world of Mulch Pile, Santa Claus has quit his job, run away, and decided to live under a bridge in suburban America. He befriends Laura, a young transgender woman struggling to be accepted by her family. Staged as a classic holiday radio play, this moving and madcap adventure follows two best friends as they search for the thing between selfish and selfless.
“Last year’s production prompted an incredible dialogue with our audience about trans identity and acceptance. The opportunity to dive back into Dakota’s poetry and bring this beautiful story back to life is a Christmas wish come true,” says Mercy Street’s associate artistic director, Columbia College alumnus Jake Fruend ’13, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Theatre Directing program, who is directing the production.
Columbia alumnus Nicholas Caesar ’10 plays Santa Claus. The cast also includes Ian Michael James ’14. Both Caesar and James are graduates of the Theatre Department’s Acting Program.
The show’s production designer is Columbia alum Alaina Moore ’13, a graduate of Columbia College’s art and design program. Both James and Moore are Mercy Street ensemble members. Mercy Street’s artistic director and co-founder is Columbia College alum Julia Rohed ’13, a graduate of the theatre directing program.