Now playing at the Bartell Theater:

The Beautiful Dark

Written by Erik Gernand / Directed by Suzan Kurry

January 23 – February 7, 2015

The eldest son of a divorced couple is expelled from college, but no one knows why – until his dark and terrible secret is revealed: Jacob has written a play…about a mass school shooting. His parents disagree on how to handle the situation, and his younger brother refuses to believe anything bad about the big brother he has always idolized. His ex-girlfriend and a former teacher join in the conversation: How can we help Jacob? Does he even NEED our help?

  • “This is what it looks like from the inside, when a family is coming apart at the seams.” – Chicago Tribune
  • “Mr. Gernand has created complicated, recognizable people who are, like most of us, victims of their own flaws.” - New York Times
  • “Mr. Gernand’s timely play is a psychologically manipulative piece of storytelling.” – Showbiz Chicago

Watch Iver Pictures’ The Beautiful Dark TRAILER

Read Aaron Conklin’s interview with the playwright HERE

MadisonMagazine/StageWrite calls The Beautiful Dark “…riveting…deeply affecting and honest…” Read Aaron Conklin’s entire review HERE

Isthmus/TheDailyPage writes: “Mercury Players’ striking production evokes a level of intrigue and discomfort enhanced by its intimate setting.” Read the entire review HERE

BroadwayWorld-Madison writes: “Shattered glass. Upon entering the playing space audiences are confronted with shadowy lights that very closely resemble shattered glass. Or, perhaps, razor blades – but who can tell?”  Read the entire review HERE

Tickets are $20 General Admission; $18 Students/SeniorsBuy Tickets HERE

Only seven performances left on the Bartell’s Evjue Stage:

Thursday, January 29 @ 7:30pm / Friday–Saturday, January 30–31 @ 8:00pm / Sunday, February 1 @ 2:00pm / Thursday, February 5 @ 7:30pm / Friday–Saturday, February 6–7 @ 8:00pm


  • Daniel Jajewski as Jacob
  • Sarah Beth Hahner as Jacob’s mother, Nancy 
  • John Jajewski as Jacob’s father, Tom
  • Trenton Imhoff as Jacob’s brother, Charlie
  • Ned O’Reilly as Jacob’s former teacher, Mr. Marsh
  • Emmaline Friederichs as Jacob’s ex-girlfriend, Sydney

Photos from Past Productions