The 86th Annual Waa-Mu Show

April 28 - May 7, 2017
Cahn Auditorium | 600 Emerson, Evanston

BEYOND BELIEF: a superhero story is a high-flying family friendly musical that follows two sisters as they grapple with harsh realities by creating a fantastical world of superheroes. Imagination comes to life as the sisters create extraordinary characters based on everyday heroes in their everyday lives. Our story explores what makes each of us super and how believing may be the most powerful ability we have. BEYOND BELIEF shows us how the most unlikely person can be the hero of your story and how the love of family, in every sense of the word, is resilient.

The new stage musical is written, composed, choreographed and co-produced by more than 100 Northwestern students. Undergraduate student co-chairs Jessie Jennison, Charlotte Morris, Eric Peters, Justin Tepper-- all seniors -- lead the 2017 production with artistic direction by David H. Bell, a Northwestern professor of music theatre in the School of Communication and an award-winning professional director.

“As we seek to illuminate what is extraordinary about every voice in our community, we find it only fitting to present a show that revolves around this belief.”
– 2017 Waa-Mu Show Co-Chairs

Click here to learn more about the 2017 Waa-Mu Show team!

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.


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 the Waa-Mu Show and thus support the creative efforts of our actors, producers, marketers, crew, and entire team!

Imagine U presents:
Celebrating all that makes YOU super!

Saturday, May 6

The popular Imagine U family theatre series at the Wirtz Center is pleased to partner with The Waa-Mu Show to offer a variety of community engagement activities as well as an accessible friendly performance for audience of all ages and abilities. 

All events will be held at Cahn Auditorium located at 600 Emerson Street in Evanston.

Wee-Mu // 11AM
Recommended for 5-10yrs of age.
Superhero costumes welcomed and encouraged!

Event Running Time: 45 Minutes
Led by Dr. Ryan T. Nelson


With lights, costumes, song and dance, award-winning Northwestern faculty member Ryan T. Nelson and members of The Waa-Mu Show will lead young audiences through the process of putting together a brand new musical! Come behind the scenes of "the greatest college show in America" for special interactive access with the cast, crew, and creative team of this year's production. This playful and fun-filled hour at Cahn Auditorium is geared for young audiences and their families and will feature hands-on demonstrations about musical instruments, choreography, and singing.

Club Waa-Mu // 11AM
Recommended for 11-13yrs of age.

Event Running Time: 45 Minutes
Led by Julianne Lang ('18) and other student teaching artists


Club Waa-Mu is a new musical theatre workshop for students 11-13yrs of age. The group will spend the hour learning a song and dance from this year's show and will get to know members of the cast. At the end of the workshop, students will perform what they've learned for their parents and chaperones, members of Waa-Mu, and workshop leaders!

Parents and chaperones are welcome to stick around for some refreshments at Cahn Auditorium or simply drop off and pick up their students!

ASL & Sensory Friendly Performance of
BEYOND BELIEF, a superhero story // 2PM

Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson Street
Directed by David H. Bell

Tickets: $30  - $10 // Special Discount Details below

Imagine U is excited to offer an ASL Interpreted and Relaxed Performance for this year's Waa-Mu Show. This performance has been adapted to provide a relaxed and safe environment for students with autism, learning differences, or other sensory needs, allowing every audience member to engage with the show in a way that works for them! Modifications to the performance include:

  • House lights at half throughout performance
  • Seating in one area with full view of interpreter
  • Designated quiet areas
  • Lower sound levels to reduce loud or startling noises
  • Map of Cahn Auditorium with quiet areas, bathrooms, and other resources labeled
  • Screens in the lobby playing the performance
  • Trigger warnings list (on our website)
  • Early entrance into the theatre to avoid crowds
  • Trained teaching artists with a background in sensory-friendly work on site
  • Standing and movement throughout performance permitted
  • Fidget toys and communication devices welcomed

If you and your family would like to visit the theatre prior to the show or would like a list of specific trigger warnings, please email the Waa-Mu Show Co-Chairs at  If you would like to purchase tickets with the best available view for the ASL interpretation or have special seating needs for this performance, please click here to purchase these seats online or call the Box Office at 847-491-7282.

Saturday, May 6 at 2:00PM only
Use the code SUPERHERO to get 20% off tickets at any price level.

Discount not valid in combination with any other offer and must be purchased in advance.  Discount available for all price levels and is only available for the 2:00PM performance on Saturday, May 6.

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 ASL & Sensory Friendly Performance on Saturday May 6.