Mass Meeting for Sorcerer, Sunday, September 11th.

Sorcerer2016 Vert MM poster

The University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society is pleased to announce our Fall show:  The Sorcerer.  Actors, singers, techies, dancers and artistically and humor inspired people should note the particulars of our Mass Meeting wherein ALL will be disclosed.

We’ll meet at 7PM in the Kalamazoo Room of the Michigan League, 911 North University.

The Sorcerer, Gilbert and Sullivan’s first full length operetta, involves the attempt of two idealistic lovers to modify social interactions using a love potion… sorceristically obtained.

Tickets for HMS Pinafore – NOW ON SALE!

pinafore-smThis semester’s show is the much-loved HMS Pinafore, or The Lass That Loved a Sailor!

Tickets are now available for purchase online via Brown Paper Tickets and will also be available at the door on the day of the show.

HMS Pinafore Show Times and Dates:

  • Thursday, April 7th @ 8 p.m.
  • Friday, April 8th @ 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 9th @ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 10th @ 2 p.m.

Information on parking and directions to the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater is available on the About UMGASS page.

Ordering Online

In the case that the direct link above does not work. Visit directly and in the “Find an event” box search “UMGASS”, and the production for the current semester should be the first to appear.

Select the date and time of the show you’d like to attend in the drop-down list at the left of the screen. Select the ticket type and quantity on the right.

If you’ve received a code or password for your ticket purchases, please select “Enter a Password or Discount Code”. A text box will appear. Enter your code and click “Show Available Tickets”. Your ticket category should now appear as an option; select the quantity you wish to purchase.

You can have the website assign you the best available seat, or you may select your own seats from the chart provided.

You can either pick up your tickets from the ticket office on the day of the show (in which case select “Will Call”) or have them mailed directly to you.

Get 10% off your group of 10 or more people! Simply use the code GROUPRATE.

HMS Pinafore – Mass Meeting and Audition Information

pinaforeUMGASS’s Spring 2016 production will be HMS Pinafore (or the lass that loved a sailor).  Here are the important dates!

  • Mass Meeting Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 7pm in the Vandenberg Room at the Michigan League
  • Auditions Monday-Wednesday, January 10-13, 2016 from 7-10pm at the U of M School of Music
  • Performances Thursday-Sunday, April 7-10, 2016 at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater

To sign up for an audition time, come to the Mass Meeting or email


Tickets for Patience – NOW ON SALE!

Patience PosterTickets for Patience (or Bunthorne’s Bride) are now on sale!

Buy early and often! You can purchase your tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets. If you need additional information, please visit the ticket page.

Ticket Prices

$10 – Student
$18 – Senior
$20 – General

Patience Show Times and Dates:

Thursday, December 10th @ 8 p.m.
Friday, December 11th @ 8 p.m.
Saturday,December 12th @ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday,December 13th @ 2 p.m.

The cast for Patience has been selected!

Congratulations to the newly announced cast of our Fall 2015 production of Patience!


RAPTUROUS MAIDENS (in alpha order) – Liana Abela, Mary Ann Crandall, Melissa Freilich, Lisa Gavan, Maia Gersten, Madeleine Gotschlich, Shalina Gupta, Hikari Kan, Melanie Lowrie, Mina Markhus, Julia Timko, Chelsea Zabel

35th DRAGOON GUARDS (in alpha order) – Lawrence Bryk, Bob Davidow, Travis DePrato, Fred Estabrook, Derek Esty, Greg Hassold, Patrick Johnson, Carl Morrison, Lee Vahlsing, Chuck Venditto, Natan Zamansky



LIEUTENANT, the DUKE of DUNSTABLE – Christopher Kendall

BUNTHORNE – Mitchell Gillett

GROSVENOR – Justin Burgess

LADY JANE – Claire DiVizio

LADY ANGELA – Camille Primeau

LADY SAPHIR – Beth Ballbach

LADY ELLA – Dana Schlegel

PATIENCE – Imani Mchunu

Cameo Roles

  • Mr. Bunthorne’s Solicitor – David Melcher
  • Lamplighter/Electrician – John Bulmer
  • General Dogsbody – Jeff Spindler

Auditions for Patience – Sept.14-16, 7-10pm in STAC

Don’t miss auditions for UMGASS’s Fall production of Patience!

Patience Illustration

This week, UMGASS is holding auditions for Patience, or Bunthorne’s Bride, the original comic opera from 1881 by the acknowledged masters of the comic opera genre, W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Classic roles are available for SATB, both leads and ensemble, for a fully-staged production at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater with beautiful period Victorian Era costumes (and uniforms) and the typically impressive UMGASS sets, props, and full orchestra.

No affiliation with the University of Michigan is required to audition! Audition dates are Monday-Wednesday, September 14, 15 and 16 from 7-10 pm, with possible callbacks on Thursday, September 17, at the Student Theatre Arts Complex (STAC), 1201 Kipke Drive, directly across the parking lot from the U-M Stadium.

If you’d like to audition…

Please prepare about 32 bars of a song from musical theater, comic opera, or opera – in English, please – and bring two copies of the sheet music, one for the pianist and one for the auditors. No a cappella auditions, please. Dance and cold reading auditions will be held only at callbacks on Thursday.

Sign-up sheets for auditions will be available at the UMGASS Mass Meeting, Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm in room 1420 of the Modern Languages Building (MLB Lecture Room 2).

If you are unable to attend Mass Meeting please e-mail, and we will sign you up for an audition slot as near as possible to your requested time. Walk-ins also welcome; fear not, we will get you in!

Important dates and scheduling information…

Production dates are December 10, 11, 12 and 13 with evening shows Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 pm and matinees both Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Rehearsals are scheduled for leads on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm, and for ensemble on Sundays at 2:00 pm and Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm (with some small variations expected for cast conflicts). There will be no rehearsals from Wednesday through Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. Otherwise, rehearsals will increase to four days per week in late November/early December (immediately prior to production week).

Production Information

Artistic Director for Patience is David Andrews, who last directed UMGASS’ acclaimed production of Pirates of Penzance in 2013; Music Director for Patience is Ezra Donner, last seen conducting this past April’s well-received production of The Mikado. Mr. Gilbert’s libretto specifically calls for twenty lovesick maidens, and we are determined to fulfill his quota, along with an equal number of heavy dragoons.

And that means you! Hail, Poetry!

Harry Bell Benford 1917-2015

We are very sad to report that Prof. Harry Benford died on June 6th. Harry was an active supporter of UMGASS since 1956, a former faculty advisor, and author of The Gilbert and Sullivan Lexicon.

Benford’s Memorial Service will be held Tuesday, July 7, 2015 in the Hanson Room at Glacier Hills. There will be a gathering of family and friends at 9:30 a.m., before the 10:30 a.m. Celebration Service.

In lieu of flowers, Benford asked that donations be made to any of the following:

  • First United Methodist Church, 120 S. State Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104
  • Friends of the U of M Gilbert & Sullivan Society (FUMGASS) c/o David Goldberg, 8461 Thurston Road, Pinckney MI 48169 — Include ‘Harry Benford’ on the memo line.
  • U of M Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Department Loyal Crew Fund This is an endowment fund. Gifts to endowment funds will be administered as a permanent endowment under Michigan law and University policies. Contributions may be made either by check or on-line. If by check, make check to University of Michigan with memo line NAME Loyal Crew Fund, in memory of Prof Harry Benford; mail to: U of M College of Engineering, 1221 Beal Ave Suite G264, Ann Arbor MI 48109. Or Online: HTTPS://

Harry’s full obituary published in Ann Arbor News from June 20 to June 21, 2015 follows:
Professor Benford died Saturday, June 6, 2015, at home at Glacier Hills in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was 97, the third son of Frank and Georgia Benford. Born and raised in Schenectady NY, he studied naval architecture at the University of Michigan. There he met, and later married, Elizabeth Smallman, who predeceased him in 2005, and whom he described as the maple syrup on his pancake of life. After graduating from the University in 1940, he worked at the Newport News Shipbuilding Company. In 1948 he returned to the University as an assistant professor, eventually rising to full professorial rank and serving a term as chairman of the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. In 1982 the title of Professor Emeritus was conferred, but he continued to be active in his department on a voluntary basis until 2007. Benford’s professional achievements were centered on the application of economics to decision making in ship design. His pioneering studies led to invitations to speak world-wide and he lectured in more than thirty countries. This activity tied in nicely with his interest in travel, which hobby he shared with his wife. He was granted three awards by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers including its highest honor: the Taylor Medal (for notable achievement in naval architecture). He was the author of two technical books and about 150 papers. He was a member of a dozen technical societies and a fellow in two. He was an active consultant to industry and government and served on several committees of the National Research Council. Along with his penchant for world travel, Benford enjoyed photography and compiled carefully structured albums of his handiwork. Benford and Betty, his first wife, were both members of the First United Methodist Church. They were known in Ann Arbor for their association since 1956 as faculty advisors to the U of M Gilbert & Sullivan Society. He was also the author of a widely read book about the Gilbert & Sullivan operas. Benford is survived by sons Howard (Chrystyna) of Midland MI, Frank (Jean Hutchinson) of Salem OR, and Robert “Tigger” (Martha Partridge) of Brooklyn NY, and five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and his second wife, Kathryn.


April 10, 2015

The Mikado is being performed this week! Are you on KoKo’s list? Be there or be a second trombone!

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UMGASS Presents The Mikado; Or the Town of Titipu!

THIS week we are proud to present our spring show, The Mikado! If you haven’t got your tickets yet, we encourage you to buy online or at the door before the show.

Ticket Prices

$10 – Student
$18 – Senior
$20 – General

Mikado Show Times and Dates:

Thursday, April 9th @ 8 p.m.

Friday, April 10th @ 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 11th @ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 12th @ 2 p.m.

For more information on tickets, see our Tickets page, for directions to the theatre, go to the About page, and for a cast list, visit the Company page.

UMGASS Elections 3/22/15

Hello everyone!

This is a reminder that the UMGASS Board elections are this Sunday at 5 p.m. (after rehearsal). We encourage you all to come/stick around and elect the new board!
If you would like to run for a position, or are just curious about what the board does and how we operate, please review our constitution and bylaws here.
Here is the short tl;dr version:
The President, creates agendas, runs board meetings, and makes sure that things get done on schedule. He/she should be very familiar with the constitution/bylaws to ensure that the board is carrying out its duties correctly. The President steps in to help other board members as needed. Must be a student.
Vice President
The Vice President runs meetings in the absence of the President. He/she is in charge of contracts (like the theater contract). He/she is also the social coordinator for UMGASS and helps set up parties and events. The VP aids other board members in their duties as needed.
Unsurprisingly, the Treasurer is in charge of money stuff. He/she is in charge of our bank account (through UM’s SAOS) and creates and updates our budgets for each show. The Treasurer also works with FUMGASS to manage our funds and pay for orchestra and other expenses. This year the treasurer has also helped us apply for grants. The Treasurer must be a student to access our SAOS funds.
The secretary takes meeting minutes at board meetings and distributes them. He/she maintains our email lists and web site, as well as our usher contact lists. Stuff with paper (like audition forms, surveys, etc.) generally falls under this job. Experience with WordPress and Google Drive is helpful, but not required.
Ticket Manager (Pooh Bah)
The Ticket Manager is in charge of all our ticket sales, including coordinating our online and box office sales. He/she works with our distributor (Brown Paper Tickets) to have tickets printed and ready for show week. The Ticket Manager also helps arrange for cast and FUMGASS sales (which sometimes means walking people through how the internet works).
Company Promoter (Pish Tush)
The Company Promoter is in charge of publicity for our shows, including posters, social media, newspaper and radio ads, and anything else they can think of to get the word out. This position is vital for the success of the show, since no matter how good it is it doesn’t really matter unless people come watch. This position can be split up between two people as it can be a lot of work alone.
Program Editor
The Program editor creates, edits, and prints the programs for our shows. This involves chasing cast members around for photos, bothering people for bios, and being nosy all the time (in a good way!). Some knowledge of editing software is helpful, but not required.
The Board as a whole is dedicated to ensuring the continued success of our society by putting on high quality shows each semester. The board is in charge of selecting production staff and providing them with the tools they need to make their vision a reality. It is a tough but rewarding job, and a great look at how things work behind the scenes in a theater company. We encourage you all to run!
Let me know if you have any questions, and the board will be happy to help.
Cristina Tamer
UMGASS President