Miss Lulu Bett

May and August 2022

Miss Lulu Bett is a 1920 novel by American writer Zona Gale and was a bestseller at the time of its initial publication. Over the course of eight days, Zona Gale later adapted it into a play that premiered on Broadway at the Belmont Theater on December 27, 1920 and closed on June 18, 1921 after 198 performances.  The play won Gale the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the first by a woman. In the foreword to the script, Robert C. Benchley wrote: "Miss Gale has violated many sacred dramatic rules. She has given us characters who talk as people really talk and who therefore are dull... The result of such adherence to uninspiring reality might well have been expected to be a failure in its appeal to an uninspiring nation of theater-goers. But Miss Gale took the chance. She wrote the play, as she had written the book, without compromise, and was rewarded by an enthusiastic public."


From the Director When I first found out about Miss Lulu Bett, and that it was by Zona Gale, and that it was 100 years since it won the Pulitzer, I knew we had to do it this year. I wasn’t sure who would be best to direct it, or who might be available, so I decided it was time for me to take the shot. This is a hard play, with a lot of lines, and English that is 100 years old. I needed the best people for these parts, folks who could live these parts like they would have a century ago. I think we found the right cast, even though we lost one Lulu along the way. They’ve worked their tails off learning these parts for their first-time director. They’ve laughed and yelled and eaten and drank together. They are really ready to show you this play. I hope you enjoy it.

From the Producer I have been a member of PACT since I first moved to Portage in 1988. It has been nothing but a joy for me to make new friends and learn new skills during the many shows I have been involved in. This is my first time producing a play that is actually one hundred years old and tied to a Portage resident. I and the whole cast and crew have learned so much about the culture of the 1920’s in small town America as seen through Zona Gale’s eyes. It is a privilege to introduce the community to one of its greatest treasures.

Cast List

  • Dwight Deacon, Lulu's brother-in-law - Greg Frank

  • Ina Deacon, Lulu's sister - Joanne Dalton

  • Diana Deacon, Dwight and Ina's older daughter; dating Bobby Larkin - Bryn Romeis

  • Monona Deacon, Dwight and Ina's youngest daughter - Anna Thony

  • Ninian Deacon, Dwight's brother who has not been with the family for many years, he has been living in South and Central America - Michael Haynes

  • Lulu Bett, a spinster in her 30s living with her sister’s family - Katie Seiler

  • Mrs. Bett, Lulu's and Ina's mother who also lives in the household - Angela Hall

  • Bobby Larkin, Di's suitor; a lower-class youth in town - Raven Harry-Ankarlo

  • Mr. Cornish, a suiter for both Lulu and Di; he owns his own business - Danny Smith


Production Team

  • Director - John Ribar

  • Producer - Sheril Lannoye

  • Stage Manager - Jim Helwig

  • Lighting Design - Eric Weiss

  • Sound Engineer - Craig Radi

  • Booth - Leslie Romeis

  • Set Design and Construction Manager - Tim Prochnow

  • Set Construction - Lucus Prochnow

  • Props & Costumes - Sheril Lannoye

  • Hair - Hannah Berner

  • Baskets - Kim Biehl

  • Advertising - Cal Dalton

  • Box Office - Heidi Royal, Doreen Viking, Deb Lechner, Bev Choutka