News Release

UDM Theatre Company unleashes "Dogman's Last Stand"

The 'dog bites paperboy' scenario is merely a starting point for the UDM Theatre Company production of Rick Cleveland's Dogman's Last Stand.  Running for six performances, February 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 at the Marygrove Theatre (8425 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI),  Dogman’s Last Stand flays the concept of preconceived notions and invites us to consider that everything is not as it appears.

Living in a mid-western steel town, Dogman Thompson (Joel Mitchell) is a laid off factory worker with a murky past, who must defend the honor of his canine companion after a run-in with a local punk and paperboy. Set in a gritty town with even grittier characters, Dogman’s Last Stand is the accumulation of an afternoon of suspense, reflection and revelation.  Centered on Dogman’s front porch, he waits and wonders with his friends about the fate of his accused canine, John Wayne. Written by Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning writer Rick Cleveland, Dogman’s Last Stand contains intense adult language and is only appropriate for individuals over the age of 16.

Associate guest artist Joel Mitchell is making his second appearance with the Theatre Company as Dogman Thompson in Dogman’s Last Stand.   Mitchell earned his BFA in Theater Performance from Wayne State University and was recently featured in the Theatre Company’s performance of Williams Shakespeare’s The Tempest as Caliban.  He has been seen on stage in Oh Hell! with the Abreact Theatre and as Mervyn in A Behanding in Spokane with Breathe Art Theatre Project.  Mitchell received a  Wilde Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy for his portrayal of Nissim in Christmas on Mars with Who Wants Cake? at the Ringwald Theatre and is a recipient of The Kisicki Award for Ensemble Acting presented by the Detroit Free Press.  Other favorite roles include:  Bradley in Buried Child at the Planet Ant, Pa Ubu in The Ubu Variations at the Zeitgeist Theatre, Joe in Killer Joe with Who Wants Cake?, Nicky Giblin in The Seafarer at Performance Network, and The Great Zabaugh in Zabaugh’s Follies at The Hastings Street Ballroom. 

Rick Cleveland is best known for his Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning writing for television on “The West Wing,” “Six Feet Under,” “Nurse Jackie.” Cleveland is a graduate of the Playwrights Workshop at the University of Iowa, a founding member of Chicago’s American theater company and is listed as a visiting Artist at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI.

Dogman’s Last Stand features numerous associate guests artists including Joel Mitchell (Hamtramck, MI) as Dogman Thompson, Joel Frazee (Ferndale, MI) as Weller and Travis Reiff (Detroit, MI) as Decker.  UDM faculty member and member of Actor’s Equity, Dr. Arthur J. Beer will be featured as Harry.   Theatre Company students featured are Chris Jakob (Detroit, MI) as Wally, Autumn Thiellesen (Ferndale, MI) as Leahy and Char’Tavia Mushatt (Detroit, MI) as Pam.  Director by David L. Regal (Hamtramck, MI), the production team is rounded out by stage manager Tim Schumack (Detroit, MI), costume and scenic designer Melinda Pacha (Royal Oak, MI), lighting designer Mark Choinski (Dearborn, MI) and management and marketing director Greg Grobis (Detroit, MI).

The Theatre Company at University of Detroit Mercy continues its mission of providing the Metro Detroit community with thoughtful, high-quality and professional productions.  The Theatre Company offers students of the Performing Arts Department the rare opportunity to work on and off stage with theatre professionals.  Annually, the Theatre Company spends 30% of its overall budget on professional associate guest artists and directors.  By working with professional directors and associate guest artists, students are encouraged to work at a high level, producing rapid growth throughout their undergraduate education.  For more information on becoming a student or an associate guest artist, please contact Greg Grobis at 313-993-3273.

Dogman’s Last Stand opens on February 3 and runs six performances through February 12, 2012.  The Theatre Company’s performances are held on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. at the Marygrove Theatre on the campus of Marygrove College, 8425 W. McNichols Rd.  Adult admission is $18.  Student admission is $9.  Group tickets are available for parties of 10 or more at $13 per ticket for adults and $7 for students.  Please note a $3.00 service fee per order for non-subscribers.  No service fees will be charged to students.

The UDM box office is open from noon to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and will move to the Marygrove theatre for performances and will open one hour prior to curtain.  For tickets, call the theatre box office at 313-993-3270 or reserve your tickets online at

Release date: February 09,2012

# # #

The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan's largest private Catholic University, offering approximately 100 majors and programs in 60 academic fields. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the University has three campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.

For the 11th consecutive year, UDM was ranked among the top tier of Midwestern master's universities in U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" – 2012 edition.