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The art of the dinner theatre returns to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, in a new and unique form.

“Runagate” Dinner Theatre, presented by Praisedust Productions, invokes a multi-cultural cast in its poetic reflection of freedom. Executive Producer Marilynn Rison says the rich history of slavery and a people’s search for freedom has been told from a strict historical viewpoint many times. “This time we’re embracing a universal passion for the story and a hunger for freedom within all people.”

Rison, who is African-American, also directs this stage medley of narrative, movement, and music, which she has written based on the poem “Runagate Runagate” by Robert Hayden. The cast consists of African American, Native American, Caucasian, and Latino actors. Katie Wasserman, a white actor who also performs with the Gratiot County Players of Alma, will be embracing the role of Harriet Tubman.

“I had to pause at first about how my playing Harriet Tubman might be perceived by an audience, but I appreciate how the show aims to express how this moment in history and the struggle for freedom is important for everyone. I am honored to play this role and excited that our cast includes people of different races and ethnicities,” said Wasserman.

“We’re all so passionate about offering this kind of artistic experience to the community… great food, marvelous talent, and a really thoughtful production that will give everyone something to talk about beyond the evening,” said Rison. She is a CMU alumnus with a master’s degree in communication and dramatic arts.

“Runagate” Dinner Theatre will be held Saturday, November 14, with dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Rotunda Room of the CMU Bovee University Center. Tickets are on sale now through Art Reach of Mid-Michigan and CMU Ticket Central. Single seat and whole table options are available.