Reno Stage Scene; Theater Review, 2022

The Reno Theater Community had an unforgettable year, Theater Review, 2022

~Dana Nöllsch~

Let me start with this; this is NOT a “Best of” post, but I am talking about my experiences and opinions. These are stand-out productions for 2022, and I am sure you will not wholly agree with me. I hope we have some open discussions about the fantastic theater community in Reno and give credit to these amazing artists who entertain us with their talent.

2022 was quite a year for Reno Theater; coming off of covid restrictions and rebuilding has come with challenges. From where I sit, the Reno Theater community delivered many excellent productions in 2022.

When covid forced theaters to shut down, many of the actors and crew we came to know moved on to other places or things. This offers many opportunities for new people to find their creativity in the theater.

Coming up with the productions that stood out for me from each theater took work; there were many outstanding productions. I am only including productions I saw; I missed a few shows over the year. The photos and reviews from last year reminded me of how great 2022 was and excited me for the year to come.

Feel free to leave your opinion on the shows you saw in 2022.

So let’s look at some of the outstanding productions in 2022.

Bruka Theatre


Clue is a campy play based on the board game of the same name. As in the game, several characters come together for an evening of mystery and murder. Each character has instructions that include a new identity that they must adapt. Their host (Mr. Body) has many tricks up his sleeve for the evening.

The cast gives a high-energy performance that never lets up. The performances are spot-on with their portrayal of these diverse, multi-faceted characters. As the play moves on, the audience sees layer after layer added to the characters, each revelation revealing secrets hidden in their past. Impressive and energetic performances indeed.

Here is a link to the full review.

Honorable mention

The Moors

One can’t ignore The Moors; this was a fun time with a bit of the surreal.

Check out the review and photos.

Reno Little Theater

Tiny Beautiful Things

Tiny Beautiful Things takes the audience on a journey into those dark times that we all experience but seldom talk about. And it is done with nonjudgmental compassion that will bring you to tears.

The cast is perfect. Kelsey Varahachaikol, who plays Sugar, exudes kindness as she walks the letter writers through the profound experiences, finding commonality with her life choices. 

The actors playing the letter writers show the vulnerability of people looking to escape the distress with emotions so palatable that the audience feels them like a breeze off the ocean. These are the emotions that brought the audience to tears, including me as well. Bradford, Darcy, and Leila are perfect for the roles and show their ability to emote raw emotions.

All the elements come together so well that Reno Little Theater’s Tiny Beautiful Things production is as nearly perfect as I have ever seen. The acting, directing, set, and story blended to create an intense but fulfilling experience for Michelle and me.

Here is a link to the full review.

Honorable mention

Native Gardens

Native Gardens showed us how we can accept our neighbors and how with that acceptance our neighbors can become our friends.

Check out the review and photos.

Good Luck Macbeth


Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic. Puffs is a Harry Potter below-decks style comedy, fast-paced and totally hilarious.

As you can tell by the cast list, there are many characters in Puffs, and each actor brings their characters to life with an abundance of energy. Look at the photos, and you will see what I mean. I can’t say enough about the cast; the energy and fun they give are marvelous.

Here is a link to the full review.

Honorable mention

Evil Dead

Fast-paced, fun, and with a splatter zone! Evil Dead was one hell of a ride.

Check out the review and photos.

Restless Artist Theater

Lifespan of a Fact

The Lifespan of a Fact is part funny and part cerebrally challenging, asking the question, where do journalistic ethics and good storytelling meet, and can that blending be successful? We have a writer, a fact-checker, and an editor battling with that very question in the story. 

RAT’s production of The Lifespan of a Fact is masterfully performed by Ron Flesher, JJ Mungcal, and Wendy Feign. This ensemble cast brings the story to life with a passion for the more profound questions of ethics.

If I rated this on a scale of one to ten, it would be a very solid nine. I was highly entertained and moved to ask myself some of the ethical questions that have followed my adult life.

Here is a link to the full review.

Sierra School of Performing Arts 

Into the Woods

It starts with Jack selling his beloved cow (Milky White), then comes the beans, and there is a witch. Did I mention the bread maker and his wife? Also, there is a little girl in a red cape with a wolf. After this, things get complicated. But that is the fun of Into the Woods.

Talk about a cast! Well, let’s talk about the cast. I wish I had the time to go into every performance, as each actor deserves recognition for their talent. This is a big cast with many seasoned actors and some fresh faces. As I watched the performances, it was apparent that the actors have a deep love for the art of the musical.

This is a complex story with great songs and quite a bit of choreography. The actors brought this together and kept the story moving for the audience. I could tell that the cast had fun and fed off of each other’s performances.

Here is a link to the full review.

Gothic North Productions


In a way, “Quartet” is a coming-of-age play. Four aging opera singers find themselves in the same luxurious British retirement home. The same home that the composer Giuseppe Verdi bequeathed to become a retirement home for opera singers. These four have a history with each other, a rich and intriguing past indeed. Now, these four are challenged to do one last performance.

I found “Quartet” to be very funny and thought-provoking. There is an inevitability to age, one that we all must face but not until it is upon us. These four talented performers show us what it is to be amid this realization.

The performers have such passion for the stage. This passion shows in their performances. Seeing them perform this play was very moving for me.

VVE3 Production

Murder Ballad

Murder Ballad takes place in New your City, focusing on a bar where the characters meet, changing their lives forever. The play is a tale of a girl meets boy, and girl loses boy, other boy meets girl, other boy loses girl, boy loses… well! Murder Ballad is a musical with a live band providing the punch as the story unfolds. The story of these three kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire 90 minutes. I won’t go into any more details as I don’t want to give any spoilers.

Read the full review to find out more about the cast.

TMCC’s Theater 

Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party

“Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party” takes place in Lincoln’s rural Illinois hometown. A fourth-grade Christmas pageant crosses the line in questioning Lincoln’s sexuality, setting off a chain of events where the townspeople question everything. The play mirrors many community’s struggles in these changing times.

Despite what the title implies, there is not much of a dance party, but there are quite a few laughs. Yet, despite the heaviness of the subject, the story is fun and, at the same time, examines a polarizing issue of equality and acceptance. 

The cast and crew are new to performing, and many are working toward their AA in Theatre. As I watched “Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party,” I could see the passion in the actors come through in their performances. I would not have guessed that this was their first time on stage. 

Look for big things from TMCC Theater and watch these actors. I see great things on the horizon for them.


I want to give my heartfelt thanks and admiration to everyone in the Reno Theater Community for their tireless work and energy to entertain us. The passion for their craft is apparent in every performance. These performers and creators take us to places of joy, fantasy, and even sorrow, much to the delight of their audiences.

I look forward to seeing you in the theater in 2023.


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