Theatre NOVA presents “The How and the Why” by Sarah Treem


Theatre NOVA, Ann Arbor’s professional theatre with an exclusive focus on new plays and playwrights, presents the Michigan premiere of “The How and the Why” by Sarah Treem.

Two brilliant female evolutionary biologists share a bold, contrarian approach to their male-dominated field, but the younger scholar challenges the older woman’s work with a radical new theory—one that could change society’s basic understanding of female sexuality. This keenly perceptive play explores the

difficult choices of modern American women and generational divides in feminism. “A smart, densely textured work about men and women, love and conflict, genes and destiny.”– The New York Times.

Directed by David Wolber, The How and the Why features Sayre Fox and Diane Hill. The production and design team includes Forrest Hejkal (scenic design), Daniel C. Walker (lighting design), Diane Hill (costume design), Carla Milarch (sound design), and Alona Shewach (stage manager, props).

“The How and the Why” will run February 1 through February 24, 2019, at Theatre NOVA (410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor), a downtown performance space. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. Theatre NOVA features free parking for patrons, as well as quick access to the city’s restaurants, bars, bakeries, and coffee shops.

Tickets are $22, and Theatre NOVA continues its commitment to making theatre accessible by offering pay-what-you-can tickets for those who need them. For tickets, visit, call 734-635-8450 (Tuesdays through Fridays from noon until 3 p.m.), or buy them in person at the box office one hour before show time.

Theatre NOVA is Ann Arbor’s resident professional theatre company. Its mission is to raise awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and playwrights and provide resources for playwrights to develop their craft by importing, exporting, and developing new work.

Sarah Treem’s “A Feminine Ending” premiered at Playwrights Horizons and went on to productions at South Coast Repertory and Portland Center Stage, among others. Her play “The How and the Why” premiered at the McCarter Theater starring Mercedes Ruehl (with Emily Mann directing) and went on to productions at Interact Theatre and Trinity Repertory, among others. Sarah’s other plays include “Empty Sky” (Bloomington Playwrights Project), “Orphan Island” (Sundance Theater Lab), “Human Voices” (New York Stage and Film) and “Mirror Mirror.” Her newest play, USELESS BAY, is currently being developed at the Sundance Theater Lab. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Southcoast Repertory, and Manhattan Theater Club, and developed work at the Ojai Playwrights Festival, the Screenwriters Colony, Hedgebrook and Yaddo. In addition to her theater career, Sarah wrote and produced all three seasons of the acclaimed HBO series “In Treatment,” for which she won a WGA award and was nominated for a Humanitas award. She was also a writer/producer for the HBO series “How to Make it in America.” Sarah also wrote and produced the first season of David Fincher of “House of Cards” for Netflix. She has taught playwriting at Yale University, where she earned her B.A. and M.F.A.

David Wolber is an actor and director. He is a Producing Artistic Director at Theatre NOVA. He served as the Artistic Director at Performance Network Theatre from 2007 to 2014. Most recently, Wolber performed in “Evidence of Things Unseen” by Katie Forgette at Detroit Repertory Theatre and “The Snow Geese” by Sharr White at Meadow Brook Theatre, and directed and co-devised “Dream Deferred: Detroit, 1967” at Matrix Theatre. This past year he received a Wilde Award, “Best Play” for directing “The Revolutionists” by Lauren Gunderson at Theatre NOVA. In 2017 he received three Wilde Awards: “Best Teamwork” with Pete Prouty and Cheryl Turski in “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” at Meadow Brook Theatre; then “Best One Person Show” for directing “2.5 Minute Ride” by Lisa Kron at Matrix Theatre; and finally, he received “Best Actor” for his performance as Winston in “1984” at Williamston Theatre. Other favorite shows he has directed include “Dear Elizabeth” by Sarah Ruhl, “Katherine” by Kim Carney, “Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitz, “I and You” by Lauren Gunderson, “Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire, “Dead Man’s Shoes” by Joseph Zettelmaier (Best New Script – Wilde Award 2012, and a co-production with Williamston Theatre), “The Clean House” by Sarah Ruhl, “Necessary Targets” by Eve Ensler, and many more. David has performed and directed shows at Meadow Brook, Performance Network, Tipping Point Theatre, Matrix Theatre, the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Williamston Theatre, Boarshead Theatre, Detroit Repertory Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland. You may have seen him in a handful of commercials and independent Michigan films. David is an alumnus of Wayne State’s theatre program. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, and he’s an Associate Producer on Jasmine Rivera’s short film “American Prophet.” Follow your path.




Zelda Kahn – Diane Hill

Rachel Hardeman – Sayre Fox

Production Team:

Director: David Wolber

Set design: Forrest Hejkal

Lighting design: Daniel C. Walker

Costume design: Diane Hill

Sound design: Carla Milarch

Stage Management: Alona Shewach


“The How and the Why” by Sarah Treem

Theatre NOVA, 410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Box office: 734-635-8450,

Tickets: $22 (Pay-what-you-can tickets available for every performance)



Feb. 1-24, 2019

Fri., Feb. 1, 8:00 p.m. Opening Night

Sat., Feb. 2, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 3, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Feb. 7, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 8, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 9, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 10, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Feb. 14, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 15, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 16, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 17, 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., Feb. 21, 8:00 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 22, 8:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 23, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 24, 2:00 p.m.


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