Griffin Theatre Company Closes 22nd Season with World Premiere Adaptation of Best Selling Novel, No More Dead Dogs.

Chicago, IL, April 2011 –The Griffin Theatre Company will close its 22nd season with the world premiere adaptation of Gordon Korman’s best-selling comic novel, NO MORED DEAD DOGS. Press opening is Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 7:00pm (April 30 – June 19, 2011). Tickets are on sale now at Theatre Wit, (773) 975-8150, or online at

The production directed by Lifeline Artistic Director, Dorothy Milne and adapted by Griffin Artistic Director William Massolia is the duos third collaboration together having previously teamed for the Griffin’s past world premiere productions of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and Neil Gaiman’s Stardust.

A comedy about the horrors of school literature, NO MORE DEAD DOGS title comically points to the fact that many books for young adults often have the dog die (such as Old Yeller or Where the Red Fern Grows), including the book that causes the main source of all the character’s problems, Old Shep, My Pal. The story unfolds through the eyes of Wallace Wallace (his first name is the same as his last) a teen who never lies, ever, because he is determined to be different from his lying long-gone dad. But when Wallace gives a scathing review of his teacher’s favorite book, he winds up in detention—because sometimes telling the truth can get you into more trouble than lying.

Wallace Wallace asks the one question that all of us have been wanting to ask–Why does the dog in every classic novel have to croak at the end? This hilarious comedy will come complete with an onstage “rock & roll band” with original music written for the production by Sound Designer Rick Sims.

The Griffin also plans to have NO MORE DEAD DOGS join its stable of touring productions with a national tour already being planned for the 2012/2013 season. NO MORE DEAD DOGS will join Letters Home, Frindle and The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly Stupid Tales. This past season Griffin’s national touring productions were performed for 100,000 young people and adults.
The NO MORE DEAD DOGS cast is lead by Ryan Lempka as Wallace Wallace. Lempka is joined Joseph Debettencourt, Colton Dillon, Samantha Dubina, Jeff Duhigg, Joey Eovaldi, Cameron Harms, Hillary Hensler, Jeremy Fisher, Alex Kyger, Morgan Maher, Conor McCahill, Erin O’Shea, Ellie Reed
The Technical and Design team for NO MORE DEAD DOGS includes: Nathan Rohrer (Costumes), Nic Jones (Lights), Joe Schermoly (Set), Rick Sims (Sound & Original Music), Paul Gilvary (Band Director) and Becky Bishop (Stage Manager).


Dorothy Milne (Director) has been the Artistic Director of Lifeline Theatre since 1999 and an ensemble member since 1992. She has directed nineteen productions at Lifeline, receiving a Non-Equity Jeff Award (Direction) for Around the World in 80 Days in 2003; and Non-Equity Jeff Nominations (Direction) for Pistols for Two, Jane Eyre (for which she also received an After Dark Award), Strong Poison, and Gaudy Night. She most recently directed The Mark of Zorro. Outside of Lifeline, she directed Little Brother and Stardust for Griffin Theatre. Back in 1992, she received an Equity Jeff Nomination for her direction of Eleemosynary at Interplay Theatre Company. Dorothy is also a 14-year member of the writing-performing collective Sweat Girls.

WILLIAM MASSOLIA (Adapter & Artistic Director) is a founding member of the Griffin Theatre Company. He is the author of over 30 plays and adaptations including, Be More Chill, Little Brother, Stardust, Loving Little Egypt, Shakespeare’s Dog, Ash Can Alley, and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. His play Letters Home recently completed a 17 city National Tour of North America and his children’s play, Frindle was presented in 22 US cities in the 2009/2010 season. Massolia is a 7-time Joseph Jefferson Award nominee for his work as a playwright. A graduate of Southern Illinois University, Mr. Massolia is a past member of the League of Chicago Theatres Board of Directors, a recipient of an IAC Playwriting Fellowship Award and currently sits on the theatre advisory panel for the Illinois Arts Council.


NO MORE DEAD DOGS begins preview performances Saturday, April 30, 2011. Previews continue Saturday, May 5, 6, 7, at 7:30pm and Sunday, May 1 at 3:00pm. Press opening is Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 7:00pm. Tickets to NO MORE DEAD DOGS range from $22-$30, and are on sale now. The regular run performances (May 13 – June 19, 2011) are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm. and Sunday at 3:00pm. Note there will be no matinee performance on Sunday, May 8, 2011. Preview tickets are priced at $22.00 each and regular run tickets are priced at $30.00 each. Tickets are on sale now at Theater Wit, 1229 West Belmont Avenue in Chicago, (773) 975-8150, or online at Senior and student discounts and group rates are available.

The Griffin Theatre Company is partially supported by grants from a CityArts Program II grant through the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.