Jeremy Leiner, a B.F.A senior, was struck by University alum Andrew Lippa’s musical, “John and Jen,” and he fought for a year to get funding and clearance to produce the show through Basement Arts. Lippa eagerly returned to the Frieze Building to work with the ensemble. “When I first listened to John and Jen,” Leiner remembered, “I felt like my life was transformed. I had fallen in love with a musical.”

The play follows Jen’s life from six to 44, showing her both as a sister and as a mother. It deals with many compelling issues – child abuse, losing a loved one and the Vietnam War. The play is done simply, with black box furniture, and all costume changes take place on stage. “We’re living in such crazy times right now,” said Leiner. “It’s somewhat eerie how the issues that seem so distant from the ’50s and ’60s are creeping up again in our lives.”

Leiner says, “I hope that this show will create a significant impact on student life and learning at the University of Michigan. “John and Jen” uses music and the arts to tell this beautiful and complex story of a sister and brother, mother and son. It is my hope that audiences will be inspired by this story in light of the time we are living in.”

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