I Love You Because

Book & Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham
Music by Joshua Salzman

In this romantic musical’s modern twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a young, uptight greeting card writer’s life is changed when he meets a flighty photographer. Along with their eccentric friends and siblings, they learn to love each other, not in spite of their faults, but because of them.

For mature audiences only.


2013 Performance Dates

February 15, 16, 22 & 23 at 8 p.m.
February 17 & 24 (ASL interpreted) at 2:30 p.m.

Ticket Information

Adults - $14
Seniors (55 and over) - $10
Non-KSU Students (17 and under) - $10
KSU Students - Free with current ID

  • Tickets go on sale January 28.
  • Purchase tickets online, by phone or in person at the Box Office.
  • Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted. Checks and cash accepted in person at the Box Office.
  • Tickets purchased online or by phone will be available at Will Call.
  • Will Call opens one hour prior to curtain time and closes when the performance begins.
  • Kent State Students: Free admission with current Kent State ID. Seats must be reserved in person at the Box Office.
  • No refunds for purchased tickets. Exchanges for the same production can be made by contacting the Box Office prior to the reserved performance date.
  • Tickets held at Will Call will be forfeited if not picked up by curtain time.


Troy Kowatch: Austin
Troy is excited to be in his first show at Kent State Stark and thrilled to work with such an amazing cast and crew! He is a sophomore at Kent State University as a musical theatre major. Troy just finished a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, where he portrayed Potiphar. Some of Troy’s favorite roles include God in Children of Eden, Sweeney in Sweeney Todd and Daddy Warbucks in Annie. Troy would like to thank Brian Newberg for giving him this opportunity, and his friends and family for all their support!

Scott Miller: Jeff 
Scott is a freshman at Kent State Stark. He is excited to get back onto the stage after being gone for over a decade. He would like to thank everyone who has supported him over the years and hopes that this is just the beginning of more exciting things to come.

Olivia DurellOlivia Durell: Marcy
Olivia appeared on the stage as Holly in Anton in Show Business and Melody in Dating Is Tough to Do...And Funny, Too! and stage managed Songs for a New World and Plumfield, Iraq at Kent State Stark. Olivia will next stage manage the upcoming Voices From Hurt Street, in which she is also a member of the writing ensemble. She has performed as Marian in The Music Man, Laurie in Oklahoma, and Grace in Annie. She is in her third year at Kent State Stark studying theatre, and works for the Theatre Department as a technician.

Caitlin HammCaitlin Hamm: Diana Bingley
Caitlin is delighted to be making her debut on the Kent Stark Campus stage. Caitlin is a musical theater major at Kent State University. She is thrilled to be a part of the I Love You Because cast. Other productions Caitlin has been seen in include Annie Get Your Gun (Annie Oakley), Bye Bye Birdie (Mama Peterson), A Little Night Music (Petra), The Drowsy Chaperone (Trix the Aviatrix), and The King and I (Lady Thiang). Caitlin also traveled to Mexico to sing American Musical Theater with the San Luis Potosi Symphony Orchestra. Caitlin would like to thank her family and friends for their never ending love and support.

Valerie SibilaValerie Sibila: Cocktail waitress, baristress, neighbor, Chinese restaurant manager, NYC woman

Brian McCoyBrian McCoy: Bartender, barista, waiter, Chinese restaurant waiter, NYC man
Brian is a music technology student at Kent State Stark. He is an active member in the Kent Stark studio ensembles and choirs, and has performed in the productions of Crazy For You and The Pirates of Penzance. Brian is an active local musician, and he can be seen playing drums for the indie power pop band Husbands and Wives (which has released an album) and the blues band The Branches. Besides being a vocalist and drummer, Brian is one of the only hurdy-gurdy players in the area.

Production Team

Brian NewbergBrian Newberg: Director
Brian Newberg is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Theatre Director at Kent State University at Stark. Brian’s directing experience (over eighty production credits) includes Broadway, Regional, Equity Waiver, industry showcases, new work development, and many college productions. He has extensive experience as an actor (over seventy production credits) in the New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oregon areas. He has also served as an Associate Artistic Director for a regional theatre company, run his own private acting studios, and taught at a number of colleges on the west coast before coming to Kent State. Brian is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and received his M.F.A. in Directing from the University of California, Irvine.

Laurel Seeds: Musical Director, Piano
Laurel Seeds received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Kent State University.  She is an Associate Professor in the Music Department at Kent State Stark Campus and teaches applied voice, applied studio musicianship voice and class piano.  Laurel is a frequent recitalist, performer, accompanist and music director and has performed with The Lyric Theatre Ensemble, Akron Lyric Opera Theatre, Akron Baroque, Canton Comic Opera, Canton Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra Blossom Festival Chorus and the Concert Series of The English Church of St. Mark’s in Florence, Italy. She is a member of Delta Omicron, The MacDowell Music Club, The National Association for Music Education, Ohio Music Education Association and is active as a Solo and Ensemble adjudicator in the state of Ohio.  

Angelo Lemmo: Choreographer
Angelo Lemmo has been Canton Ballet’s Choreographer in Residence since 1991 and a faculty member since 1987. His works have been chosen for performances at fourteen Regional Dance America Festivals, six of which have been performed on the Gala performance and two of which received the RDA Craft of Choreography Project Tier Award chosen form submissions from across the United States. Mr. Lemmo’s choreographic versatility has provided commissioned works in classical ballet, modern, musical theatre, opera, trade shows and flag corps. At present Mr. Lemmo has choreographed three original full length ballets, DraculaFrankenstein and The Wizard of Oz, over 35 short works and 25 musical theatre productions. His works have been seen throughout the northeastern United States and in Europe. In addition to works performed by the Canton Ballet his work has also been seen on Ohio Dance Theater, the former Cleveland Ballets Dancing Wheels, Ohio Light Opera, The Canton Players Guild, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Kent State University at Stark Theater, Canton Civic Opera, Fort Wayne (Indiana) Dance Collective, College of Wooster, Eastern Michigan University, Ashland Regional Ballet, New Castle Regional Ballet, The Northeastern Ohio Dance Ensemble and Vineland Regional Dance Company. Mr. Lemmo is also an accomplished stage manager and lighting designer, and choreographed Kent State Stark's production of Evil Dead: The Musical and I Love You Because.

Louis WilliamsLouis Williams: Scenic & Lighting Designer
Louis Williams is the resident technical director, and scenic and lighting designer, at Kent State Stark and has designed over 200 productions in 30 years in theatre, opera, ballet and rock-n-roll. This includes work with such theatre companies as: The American Ballet Theatre II, The Joffrey Ballet II, The Arizona Theatre Company, The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, The Kenley Players, The Ohio Light Opera, The Cleveland Opera, The Cinncinnati Opera, Southern Arizona Light Opera Company, Carousel Dinner Theatre, The Agora, Cleveland Ohio, The Temple Of Music And Art, Tucson, Arizona, ChildsPlay Inc, of Phoenix, Arizona, and The Scottsdale Civic Center, Scottsdale, Arizona. Read more about Louis Williams.

Susan BlurtonSusan Blurton: Costume Designer
Susan Blurton has designed costumes for various productions over the past 16 years including the Canton Palace Theater, Canton Civic Center, Players Guild, Porthouse Theatre, John F. Knight Center, Akron Civic Theater and The Christmas Spectacular, which was recorded and aired on PBS. She began her venture into theatre while living in New York and freelancing for Off-Broadway shows, mainly as a stitcher and pattern maker. She designed sportswear for the 7th Ave. design house Ellen Tracy/Liz Claiborne. Her duties included designs for sportswear and the dress division, purchases of all fabric and trims, and dressing models at runway shows and photo shoots. While living in L.A., she served as a dresser to Franki Valli, The Pointer Sisters, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and she was a personal shopper for Aaron Spelling. Along with designing costumes, she is an active artist and art teacher. She received her B.S. in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati, Teaching Certification from Mount Union University and M.A. from Marygrove College.

Ron JarvisRon Jarvis: Sound Designer
You might recognize Ron Jarvis as a performer, producer, music director, and/or composer for such stalwart North East Ohio acts as The Buckeye Biscuit Band, Ital, First Light, Alex Bevan, Pat Dailey and, most recently, Macaw; the American Worldbeat Band. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Kent State where he has taught Art of the Theatre and Theatre Criticism classes as well as the three part series of Sound Design and Technology classes for the Entertainment Arts and Technologies certificates program. Ron has worked with world renowned directors Vincent Dowling (composition for The Winter’s Tale at Kent State) as well as Ping Chong (Blindness: The Irresistible Light Of Encounter at La Mama Theatre in NYC) and has served as a live-mix consultant at Geauga Lake and Cedar Point amusement parks. Although his first sound design for Kent State Stark was for the 2002 production of Dancing at Lughnasa, since 2007 he has designed many of the Kent State Stark theatrical productions including Oklahoma!, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Into the Woods, The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Mikado, Crazy for YouDating is Tough to Do...and Funny, Too!, Songs for a New World, Plumfield, Iraq, Evil Dead: The Musical and Anton in Show Business.

Molly Patterson: Stage Manager
Molly is a sophomore theatre technical and design major, and was assistant stage manager for Buried Child at Kent State Stark. She recently returned to Kent State after spending a year making magic at Walt Disney World! Her previous technical credits include Nunsense, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Cedar Point's Rock Band Live!

Stacey Pasternak: Assistant Stage Manager
Stacey is a sophomore American Sign Language major. Her previous theatre experience includes Evil Dead: The Musical, Buried Child, Annie, and The Outsiders. She will be the stage manager for The Crucible in the summer and works for the Theatre Department as a technician.

Jered Rossow: Assistant Stage Manager
Jered is a sophomore at Kent State Stark, with a few previous plays under his belt, such as sound design assistant for Buried Child, crew for Evil Dead: The Musical, and costume design assistant for Anton in Show Business at Kent State Stark; and a few performances in high school including Robin Hood: A New Generation.

Cory KosmanCory Kosman: Scenic/Lighting Design Assistant
Cory’s theater experience started in 7th grade when he acted in the musical Guys And Dolls. When freshman year rolled around he found himself being drawn towards the technical side of the theater. Since then he has had a deep love of anything tech related; sound especially. He has been the lead sound engineer on two musicals at his high school. He has also worked sound for two rock concerts that took place at his high school. He was on the tech crew for Buried Child at Kent State Stark, and hopes to continue on the tech path throughout college and beyond. 

Bryan SteffeeBryan Steffee: Scenic/Lighting Design Assistant
Bryan has been part of many productions, such as Bye, Bye Birdie, Lil’ Abner, Annie, and The Sound of Music. He was a costume design assistant for Buried Child at Kent State Stark. He is majoring in theater with a minor in English, and is also a member of the writing ensemble for the upcoming Voices From Hurt Street.

Sarah PetersSarah Peters: Scenic/Lighting Design Assistant
Sarah is majoring in electronic media while minoring in theatre. After attending a year at Kent, she transferred to NYCDA: School for Film and Television located in New York City, which she graduated from. In addition to NYCDA, she also received voice over training from Howard Ross, her voice over coach, voice over character training from Paul Liberti, and improv training from the Red Tie Mafia improvisational group. She has now returned to Kent to finish where she left off. Before college, she appeared in numerous community plays at the Canal Fulton Players Guild, and was active in her high school theatre and choir productions. Some of her past shows include Buried Child and Anton in Show Business at Kent State Stark, and The Music Man, The Odd Couple, Bus Stop, Fiddler on the Roof, The Wizard of Oz, The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Blithe Spirit.

Maya NicholsonMaya Nicholson: Costume Design Assistant
Maya is a freshman at Kent State Stark majoring in musical theatre with a minor in marketing. She graduated from Copley High School in Copley, Ohio as the President of her Thespian Club, where she performed in Smokey Joe’s Café, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Little Shop of Horrors; and directed George Washington Slept Here and Copley’s Got Talent (the annual Talent Show). She is currently enrolled in theatre courses and aspires to be a Broadway director.

Jillian DaileyJillian Dailey: Costume Design Assistant
Jillian began her theatrical training at Lake Center Christian High School where she was involved in all the musicals and plays during her four years there. This included leading roles in Seussical and Little Women. She is a sophomore at Kent State Stark, where she has performed in Anton in Show Business and Plumfield, Iraq, and was the costume design assistant for Evil Dead: The Musical. She is also a member of the writing ensemble for the upcoming Voices From Hurt Street.

John-Michael RobertsJohn-Michael Roberts: Sound Design Assistant
John-Michael is a junior at Kent State University at Stark majoring in psychology and minoring in theatre sound design. This is the eighth project he has been involved in on this campus. His work in the theater has ranged from acting (Buried Child, Huck Finn’s Story, Crazy for You), sound design assistant (Dating is Tough to Do and Funny Too, The Glass Menagerie) and stage management (Anton in Show Business). He is also a member of the writing ensemble for the upcoming Voices From Hurt Street. In the future he hopes to continue his work in theatre while working on his degree in counseling.

Tim Novotny: Sound Design Assistant  
Tim is currently a senior at Kent State University. He has served as a sound designer and production assistant on many of the university’s productions including The Crucible, Grease, and the Kent Dance Ensemble. He is also a prominent figure in the local independent (horror) film scene and is known for his acting, scoring, and cinematography in films such as Tonight You Die, Mantua, Giallo Girl, and Gangrene: The Dink Documentary.

Leah ReeseLeah Reese: Crew
Leah is a freshman a Kent State Stark and majoring in early childhood education. She has been in numerous musicals and plays at her alma mater Tuslaw High School: The Pajama Game, The Sound of Music, High School Musical, Seussical, The Boyfriend Project, and John Lennon and Me. She served on crew for Buried Child at Kent State Stark.

Jonathan DiehlJonathan Diehl: Crew
Jonathan is a freshman at Kent State Stark, pursuing a music composition degree. He graduated from Perry High School in 2012. He is new to the Theatre Department and excited to work with this show.

Caitlin RobertsCaitlin Roberts: Crew
Caitlin is a sophomore at Kent State Stark and is pursuing degrees in music education and theatre. Previous theatre experience includes acting in Lil Abner, Anything Goes and Oklahoma. Cait is a graduate of Northwest High School, and is involved in worship at her church and working on youth drama there. At Kent State Stark, Caitlin was a scenic/lighting design assistant for Buried Child, assistant stage manager for Plumfield, Iraq, and the makeup/special effects design assistant for Evil Dead: The Musical, and acted multiple roles in Anton in Show Business.  She is also a member of the writing ensemble for the upcoming Voices From Hurt Street.

Ethan Mucklewrath: Crew  

Rachel Shumway: Crew  


Sandy Wallace: Electric Keyboard   

Jayne Naragon: Reeds, Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Oboe   

Brian BennettBrian Bennett: Drums, Percussion
Brian received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Performance from Kent State University. He then earned a Master of Music degree in Performance and Literature along with the coveted Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. He’s played percussion for nearly two dozen different musical theater productions at Kent State University, The Downstairs Cabaret Theater (Rochester, NY), the Canton Player’s Guild, and of course Kent State Stark. In addition to his freelance work in the areas of musical theater, jazz, classical, and contemporary chamber music, he has performed with the Sounds of Sousa Band, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and Ashland Symphony Orchestra. Since 2004, he has been the instructor of percussion at Kent State Stark where he teaches lessons, world drumming, methods class, and directs the Kent State Stark Percussion Ensemble.

Dan Nauss: Acoustic & Electric Bass