AMÉLIE dreams up a world where joy is found in anonymous acts of kindness

When “times are hard for dreamers,” an imaginative young Parisian finds joy in anonymous acts of kindness. After overcoming a tragic and isolated childhood, Amélie discovers the power of making others happy. When a chance at love becomes a high-stakes gamble, will she risk everything and speak from her heart? 

Find out when the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance presents the final production of its theatrical season, Amélie. The production will be the first musical presented in the STUDIO at the newly inaugurated Hilberry Gateway from April 5 to April 20. Inspired by the famous French film of the same name, Director and Assistant Professor of Teaching, Jill Dion, brings this classic to the stage alongside her assistant director, Nick Smathers, a senior undergraduate acting student. The musical stars Gina Marie Karkoski and Giana Lerini as Amélie, and Alex Pergjoni and Tavon Webb as Nino. View the full cast in the digital program here.

Giana Lerini (front) in rehearsal with the cast of Amélie

“[Amélie] is a do-gooder,” said undergraduate acting student, Giana Lerini, about her character. “Which means she does anonymous good deeds for people. And she has a little love story in there.”  

“The overarching theme is about healing one’s childhood self,” Gina Karkoski, an undergraduate acting explained. “And finding your purpose, finding your passion and how everyone is connected.” 

Amélie will be performed on the STAGE at the Hilberry Gateway, a 150-seat, flexible, black-box theatre. The student production team members and designers have been hard at work to bring the story to life in this smaller space. The set, designed by graduate scenic design student, Sasha Kuznetsova, is made up of numerous moving pieces, allowing for versatile ways to create the 37 location changes the musical requires. The musical also features the use of numerous puppets, including a goldfish, gnome, and young Amélie puppet, designed by graduate scenic design student, Jeff Jantz. 

Audiences are invited to embark on a journey towards joy in Amélie, as the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance closes its inaugural theatre season at the Hilberry Gateway with this heartwarming and visually stunning production. Tickets are very limited, so get yours now to experience the magic of Amélie live on stage

Amélie poster

Event Details: Amélie  

Book by Craig Lewis, Music by Daniel Messé, Lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messe 

 Dates: April 5-20, 2024 ​

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2024 
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2024 
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2024 
  • 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2024 
  • 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, 2024 
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2024 
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 2024 
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 2024 
  • 3 p.m. Sunday, April 14, 2024 
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 19, 2024 
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 2024 
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 2024 

Location: In the STUDIO at the Hilberry Gateway, 4715 Cass Avenue 

Tickets: Limited tickets are available online or by calling the Hilberry Gateway box office at (313) 577-2972 

For further information and press inquiries, please contact: 
Sophia Cannella - Amélie Marketing Lead 
Office of Promotions & Outreach 
Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance 
Wayne State University 

About the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts 

The College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts is home to today’s aspiring artists, performers, technicians, scholars, dancers, debaters, entrepreneurs, and communication professionals who all represent the college’s legacy of excellence in our respective fields. The college serves students majoring in 17 undergraduate programs, 10 graduate programs and three graduate certificates through its departments: the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art, Art History and Design, the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, and the Departments of Communication and Music. From debate to dance, jazz to journalism, and fashion design to center stage, our students create captivating performances, inspire artistic and academic excellence, and conduct innovative research on behalf of our Detroit community. 

About Wayne State University 

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 24,000 students. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about Wayne State University, visit

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