News & Blog

Tickets Available for ‘Gifted’ and ‘This is a Test’ in Final Black Box Theatre Performance

Join us for the final Middle School Play to be held in Emerson’s Black Box Theatre. This year’s student performance will include two one-act plays, each set in a school classroom.

Performance Dates

  • Thursday, Mar. 5 and Friday, Mar. 6 at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, Mar. 7 at 2:00pm

Reserve Your Tickets Now
Tickets are $8.00 for all ages, payable by cash or check. You can order by email ( or by calling the Emerson Ticket Hotline at 734-665-9005, x362. Please leave a message with:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Number of tickets requested
  • Performance date

You will be notified by phone phone or email (however you placed your order) when your tickets are available for pick up in the Middle School Office—usually about a week later. We prefer that you pick-up your tickets prior to your performance night so that we can avoid congestion and long lines in the show lobby.

About the Performances

ACT 1: Gifted by Tommy Lee Johnston
This drama tells the story of Mr. Jenks who revisits his high-school alma mater as a substitute teacher for a class of highly gifted students. Discovering the passage of time hasn’t erased his own painful experiences as a bully, he now faces a class of kids whose lives and experiences all too closely resemble those of the very students he taunted. Zach, Maggie, Jake, Janie, Jamie and James all struggle in their own way with their gift of intellect and the impact it has on their social standing in life and school. Their stories of being bullied quickly take Mr. Jenks back to a time of much shame and pain. He must face his feelings while helping the students understand the senselessness of bullying, and he will deliver news to the students that will force them to see life in a whole new way. Gifted reveals the day-to-day drama and humor these kids live. It’s a story of love, respect, devotion, extreme forgiveness, and embracing one’s own gift.

ACT 2: This is a Test by Stephen Gregg
A comedy by Stephen Gregg brings us into a typical class testing moment with the ticking clock reminding us, only 60 minutes remain to complete this oh-so-important predictor of the students’ future. But Emma didn’t get the review sheets, the teacher doesn’t seem to like her and her classmates are blatantly cheating! Time passes and the voices in her head remind her that though she is having trouble with the test, her personal life is far, far worse. Then she reaches the essay question. The good news—it’s an opinion essay. The bad news—it’s in several different languages! It seems things aren’t going to get better!

The Final Black Box Theatre Performance
A Black Box space is unique in its capacity to be made into any type of theatrical stage.  The benefit of this venue is the intimacy it builds between actors and audience.  Audience members often feel that they become a part of the show, sometimes as they are drawn into active participation, but nearly always through the emotional connections that occur quickly and powerfully in the small space.

Cast of Gifted

  • Mr. Jenks: Michael Pelosi
  • Zach: Quade Pohlman
  • Jake: Joey Pinto
  • Maggie: Cammie Treiber
  • James: Hazel Byers
  • Jamie: Annika Olsen
  • Janie: Laura Burns

Cast of This is a Test

  • Alan: Emma Throm
  • Teacher: Randi Jo Evans
  • Lois: Lily Gilman
  • Chris: Clara Martin
  • Pat: Michelle Nicklas
  • One: Lacey Cooper
  • Two/Evan: Kieran Witgen
  • Three/Mother: Shruthi Laksmanan
  • Voice: Annika Olsen