Notice: This article is more than one year old and is part of the Henry Ford College news archive. Information in the article may be outdated. For the most current news and information about Henry Ford College, please visit, or contact
Release Date: 
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

HFC To Stage The Diviners Throughout April

Event Date: 
Thu, 04/14/2016 to Sat, 04/23/2016
The poster for HFC's production of The Diviners.

HFC Theatre Arts Dept. will stage The Diviners throughout April. This production takes place in the Adray Auditorium, located in the Grant U. MacKenzie Fine Arts Center (Building M on the main campus) on the following dates:

  • Thursday, April 14, at 8 p.m.;
  • Friday, April 15, at 8 p.m.;
  • Saturday, April 16, at 8 p.m.;
  • Sunday, April 17, at 2 p.m.;
  • Thursday, April 21, at 8 p.m.;
  • Friday, April 22, at 8 p.m.;
  • Saturday, April 23, at 8 p.m.; and
  • Sunday, April 24, at 2 p.m.

Set in Indiana in a fictional small town called Zion at the start of the Great Depression, The Diviners chronicles the life of Buddy Layman, a mentally disabled boy and his friendship with a disillusioned preacher named C.C. Showers. When Buddy was younger, he was in an accident where he almost drowned and his mother died. As a result, he’s deathly afraid of water.

Buddy and C.C. meet when C.C. passes through Zion, looking for food and work. The two take an immediate liking to one another. C.C. can relate to Buddy in ways most people cannot, becoming his mentor and teacher. He quickly becomes a pillar of Zion, whose citizenry wants to revive the community. The diner owner wants to rebuild the church, thinking of all the customers it would bring to her establishment on Sundays.

However, C.C.’s relationship with the people of Zion changes drastically once they learn he’s an ex-preacher who has vowed never to preach again. That knowledge changes everything and leads to a horrible tragedy.

Written by Jim Leonard, Jr., The Diviners received its first professional production with the Circle Repertory Co. in 1980. HFC’s production is directed by Mary Bremer-Beer, who teachers theater at HFC. Bremer-Beer directs up to 10 plays per year for The Theatre Company and other Detroit-area professional theaters. She has won all of Detroit’s major acting and directing awards. Additionally, she’s the director of the Dearborn Youth Theater. Bremer-Beer made her HFC directing debut with Vital Signs in 2011. Her other work at HFC includes directing the 2013 production of Drinking in America, 2014 production of The Good Doctor and Hairspray in 2015.

HFC’s production of The Diviners will be a participating entry in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in New York City. Founded in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the founding chairman of the Kennedy Center, the KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, and has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater throughout the U.S. Since then, the KCACTF has grown into a department, where artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment from KCACTF respondents.

In January and February of each year, regional festivals showcase the finest of each region’s entered productions and offer a variety of activities, including workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs. Regional festival productions are judged by a panel of three judges selected by the Kennedy Center and the KCACTF national committee. These judges select four to six of the best and most diverse regional festival productions to be showcased in the spring at the annual non-competitive national festival at the Kennedy Center, all expenses paid.

Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to have their work critiqued, improve their dramatic skills and receive national recognition for excellence. More than 1 million theatre goers have attended approximately 10,000 KCACTF festival productions nationwide.

Several HFC plays have earned honors at the KCACTF, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Tempest, Macbeth and Ruined.

Tickets for The Diviners are $15. To buy tickets, please visit For questions or further information about The Diviners, contact Dr. George Popovich, HFC director of Theatre and director of the Virtual Theatricality Lab (VTL) at 313-845-6478 or

American College Theatre Festival
Irene Ryan Nominations

Cast and Crew

Henry Ford College
Theatre Arts

The Diviners
By Jim Lenard, Jr.
Directed by Mary Bremer-Beer
Produced by Special Arrangement with Samuel French

2016 Public Performances
Thursday-Saturday, April 14-16, 21-23 at 8pm
April 17 and 24 at 2 p.m.

Scenic Designer: Gerard Dzublinski
Lighting Designer: David Koltunchik
Costume Designer: Judith Fletcher
Sound Designer: Matt Van Houten
Stage Manager: Sarah Root
Artistic/Producing Director: Dr. George Popovich

Buddy Layman: Josh Neilson
Jenny Mae Layman: Brighid Driscoll
Ferris Layman: Alan Rezzonica
C.C. Showers: Zachary Ross
Norma Henshaw: Kennedy Cooper
Darlene Henshaw: Lakiya Neal
Goldie Short: Judy Fletcher
Basil Bennett: Chris Ewing
Luella Bennett: Patricia Montemurri
Melvin Wilder: Matt Van Houten
Dewey Maples: Matt Micheletti

Associate Dean: Cynthia Stiller
Academic Coordinators: Carol Sloan, Randall Knight
Administrative Assistants: Tom Berryman, Linda Prisza
Director of Theatre: Dr. George Popovich

Director: Mary Bremer-Beer
Scenic Designers: Gerry Dzublinski, Chris Bremer
Lighting Designer: David Koltunchik
Costume Designer: Judith Fletcher
Sound Designer: Matt Van Houten

Stage Manager: Sarah Root
Technical Director: Gerry Dzublinski
Carpenters: Adrian Mikulah, William Underwood, Anas Pacha, Enrique Urbina, Austen Kemp, James Hagwood, Mike Ross, Mahmood Wahidi, Joi Harris, Angie Lai, Josh Neilson, Salem Akra
Scenic Artist: Gerry Dzublinski
Scenic Painters: William Underwood, Anas Pacha, Enrique Urbina, Austin Kemp, James Hagwood, Mike Ross, Mahmood Wahidi, Joi Harris, Angie Lai, Josh Neilson, Salem Akra
Master Electrician: David Koltunchik
Assistant Stage Manager: Matt Van Houten
Master Carpenter: Christopher Bremer
Sound Engineer: Alan Contino
Electricians: Sarah Root, Joi Harris
Props: Williams Underwood, Anas Pacha, Enrique Urbina, Austen Kemp, James Hagwood, Mike Ross, Mahmood Wahidi, Joi Harris, Angie Lai, Josh Neilson, Salem Akra
Costume Crew: Anas Pacha
Poster and Program Design: Ashleigh Martin
Printing: HFC Graphics
Publicity: Dr. George Popovich, Gary Erwin, Mike Cochran, The Cast and Crew, HFC Graphics, Angie Lai
Program/Data Collection: Dr. George Popovich
Electronic Box Office: Dr. George Popovich
Lobby Display: Angie Lai

Sound Board Operator: Angie Lai
Light Board Operator: Sarah Root

House Managers: Christopher Bremer, Angie Lai, Gerry Dzublinski
Box Office Managers: Christopher Bremer, Angie Lai, Gerry Dzublinski
Ushers: Enrique Urbina, Austin Kemp, James Hagwood, Mike Ross, Mahmood Wahidi, Salem Akra