The 85th Annual Waa-Mu Show

April 29 - May 8, 2016
Cahn Auditorium | 600 Emerson, Evanston

The Waa-Mu Show is Northwestern University's own original musical, written, performed, and presented by Northwestern students.

The Waa-Mu Show's quirky name stands for the two organizations that banded together to present the first show in 1929, the Women's Athletic Association (W.A.A.) and the Men's Union (M.U.). Since then, Waa-Mu has become a virtual institution for budding young theatrical talent. As Northwestern’s oldest theatrical tradition, The Waa-Mu Show provides undergraduates with the unparalleled opportunity to create an original musical each year. Students serve as leaders in every aspect of development from conception through production to create a show exploring themes and stories that inspire us as college students, challenge us as musical theatre artists, and engage us with our surrounding communities.

The Waa-Mu Show strives to place itself at the forefront of new musical theatre writing, continuing to push the limits of the “greatest college show in America” (Associated Press).

For more information about this year’s production and those involved, visit

David Bell (Director) is a Professor of Music Theatre and a professional director who has worked extensively all over the world — including Broadway, Off-Broadway, Carnegie Hall, The National Theatre, London's West End, The Kennedy Center, The Royal Albert Hall, Long Wharf, Ford's Theatre (Artistic Director 1983-1988), The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta (Associate Artistic Director 1992-2001), The Mongodor Theatre (Paris), The National Opera (Berlin), Bridgewater Hall (Manchester), and the closing Ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics. More info.

A journal from the past becomes the compass for a modern family to find home.

An ambitious student named Kate sets off on a research expedition across the Oregon Trail to solve a mystery left by the journal of her ancestor and namesake, Kathleen O’Reilly. Soon after she sets out into the wilderness, Kate unexpectedly becomes the sole legal guardian of her young nieces and nephews. Together they continue Kate’s adventure into the heart of the mythical American west.

The journal entries bring history to new life along the trail where the modern-day and past adventures intertwine. Kate looks to the past for guidance; Kathleen to the future for hope, as they both forge their formidable journeys towards finding a new understanding of home.

Creative Team:

  • Scenic Designer: Scott Davis
  • Lighting Designer: Lee Fiskness
  • Costume Designer: Bob Kuhn
  • Sound Designer: Bob Gilmartin
  • Choreographers: Nick Leighton, Kathryn Watts
  • Music Director: Ryan Nelson
  • Stage Manager: Kyle Largent

Learn more about this year’s production at


In order to put on the Waa-Mu Show every year, we rely on the generosity and support from our Waa-Mu alumni, supporters, friends and family. Your support will directly contribute to Waa-Mu 2016 and thus support the creative efforts of our actors, producers, marketers, crew, and entire team!

TIER 1: $30 General Public
TIER 2: $25 General Public
TIER 2: $22 Seniors, NU Faculty/Staff, Area Educator/Administrator
TIER 2: $10 Full-Time Student

Tier 1 = main floor and balcony center sections; Tier 2 = main floor and balcony side sections.

7:30PM THU | FRI | SAT
2:00PM SUN

Special 2:00PM performance on Saturday May 7.