Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Digging Up Dessa (Summer Circle Theatre)

Summer Circle Courtyard

June 6, 2024 - June 9, 2024

Exhibitions, Performing Arts

Visit This Event Page


Written by Laura Schellhardt
Directed by Dionne O’Dell

June 6, 7, 8 at 7PM & June 9 at 4PM

Dessa is a 21st-century girl with no shortage of struggles, secrets and mysteries to solve. From dinosaur bones to hidden memories, the world is filled with buried treasures just waiting to be uncovered. Luckily, thanks to the mysterious appearance of a remarkable friend—the pioneering 19th-century English paleontologist Mary Anning—young Dessa knows just how to excavate them! After a field trip to a museum reveals that Mary Anning’s legacy has been buried by history because of her gender and lack of formal education, Dessa decides that she’s going to fight to earn her friend the credit she deserves. With help from her once-rival, Nilo, Dessa sets to work unearthing the secrets hidden beneath the surface of the past and present—for Mary’s history and her own future. For All Ages. Please Note: This production contains themes related to the death of a parent.  

The first 100 future paleontologists (kids!) to attend “Digging Up Dessa” will receive a free dinosaur egg to excavate!

RUN TIME: 90 Minutes with a 15 Minute Intermission

Post-Show Thursday, June 6 – SCT Cabaret (sing along to some favorite showtunes!)
Post-Show Friday, June 7 – After School Special Improv Team
Post-Show Saturday, June 8 – After School Special Improv Team
Pre-Show 3PM Sunday, June 9 – Greater Lansing Ballet Company

For over sixty years the MSU Department of Theatre has been producing free performances of a wide variety of shows outdoors on the MSU campus. Presenting a blend of old favorites, musicals, and provocative new plays, Summer Circle Theatre (SCT) provides a professional venue for MSU students that offers free theatre to Mid-Michigan audiences. SCT presents shows of varying styles using the talents of community members and professional artists.

    • All Summer Circle Theatre productions are FREE and open to the general public.

    • All of the MAINSTAGE shows are at 7:00 p.m. except for Sundays which start at 4:00 p.m.

    • The Summer Circle Theatre Courtyard is between the Auditorium Building and the Kresge Building on MSU’s campus. 542 Auditorium Road, East Lansing, MI 48824.

    • Parking is FREE and available in Lot 9, across the street from the Auditorium Building (542 Auditorium Rd).

    • There is tiered, amphitheater-style seating but we suggest bringing your own blanket and/or lawn chairs for maximum comfort.

    • Concessions will be available. Feel free to bring your own picnic as well!

    • In the event of heavy rain, the performance will be moved into the Auditorium Building.