The West Coast Premiere of

Miracle on South Division Street

by Tom Dudzick

Miracle on South Division Street
Karianne Flaathern, Ellen Crawford Brian Ibsen, Meghan Andrews

Scenic Design
Costume Design
Lighting Design
Sound Design
Properties Design & Set Dressing
Production Stage Manager
Public Relations
Technical Director
Assistant to the Director
Set Construction
Scenic Artist
Production Crew

Light Board Operator
Sound Board Operator
Stage Crew
Key Art
Production Photography

Brian Shnipper
Jeff McLaughlin
Dianne K. Graebner
Jared A. Sayeg
Drew Dalzell
Leesa Freed
David Elzer/Demand PR
Robert T. Kyle
Jaime Gray
Red Colegrove/Grove Scenery
Orlando de la Paz
Watson Bradshaw, Rene Osvaldo Parrs, Jr., Cuyler Perry, Christopher Rivera, Matthew Tsang, Genetra Tull
Brian Cordoba
Heather Waters
Matt Adams, Brie Quinn
Michael Lamont

(in order of appearance)

Jimmy Nowak
Ruth Nowak
Clara Nowak
Beverly Nowak

Brian Ibsen
Karianne Flaathen
Ellen Crawford
Meghan Andrews


Clara Nowak's kitchen in a run-down working class neighborhood of Buffalo, NY


Christmas Eve, 2010

Miracle on South Division Street is performed without intermission
Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes


Tonight’s play is pure fiction, based on a “true” local legend.
Miracle on South Divison StreetBack in busy, bustling 1950’s Buffalo, a block and a half from my father’s tavern, there stood a barbershop. Next to the barbershop was a 20-foot-tall shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary -- a beautiful life-sized statue encased in wood, brick and glass. It’s raison d’etre? -- well, legend had it that the Blessed Mother herself appeared to this barber and gave him a message for the world concerning world peace. (She was in favor of it.) Whether this miraculous materialization actually took place is still a matter of conjecture, but, regardless, there it stood, this monument to a man’s faith for us impressionable kids to gawk at and wonder about. The nuns at St. Pat’s told us not to waste our prayers or coins on the ersatz saint as the mighty Roman Catholic Church had no intention of ever sanctioning this hokey miracle. And that’s how the matter stood at the time I left the neighborhood in 1964.

Fast forward 45 years. My old neighborhood has all but disappeared. Businesses and homes have succumbed to hard times and neglect. Its denizens have fled to the suburbs, and St. Pat’s is gone. But amidst the rubble of urban blight something still stands, dare I say, “miraculously?” You guessed it, the shrine to the Blessed Mother -- spared from the wrecking ball by a promise from City Hall, lovingly preserved by a handful of faithful residents, its creator long passed away.

I made a pilgrimage to my old neighborhood a couple of years ago. I stood before the shrine -- newly Windexed, freshly flowered, its mail slot still active with donations and requests for miracles -- and I thought to myself, “There’s a story here.” The real-life details of its origin were forever buried with the barber, so I needed to invent a family.

Tonight you will meet them, the Nowaks of Buffalo’s East Side -- amalgams of people I grew up with, some friends and family, and a little of myself sprinkled in. After our close interaction these last couple of years I find that I’ve fallen head over bowling shoes for the Nowaks, with all their crassness, their squabbles, their secrets, and their dreams. I hope they’ll get under your skin as well. Enjoy!

- Tom Dudzick


Brad Brown   Victoria HOffman   Jennifer Lee
Ray Lorme, Linoleum City   Wadler Data Systems   Phil Torf & House of Props