This charming musical is a 21st-century take on Jean Webster’s classic novel, with music and lyrics by Paul Gordon and book by John Caird.

Jerusha Abbott is about to age out of the orphanage she grew up in when a mysterious benefactor, Jervis Pendleton, funds her college education. The conditions are that they never meet and that she writes him a letter once a month. Not knowing who the man is, Jerusha invents him from her imagination, and not only finds her voice as a writer, but quite a bit more than she expected.

Meg Cook, a sophomore BFA musical theatre student, plays Jerusha. “'Daddy Long Legs' is the first show that I've been in where the material hasn’t been set in the modern day and age," Cook said. "I’ve enjoyed getting to enact what it would be like to play someone who's my age but at a different time. It’s interesting to explore the language and mannerisms society was accustomed to in the early 1900s versus what we would use in the 21st century.”

Zach Lopez, a junior BFA musical theatre student, plays Jervis and is finding the process to be very collaborative. “The process is a lot more intimate between Meg, our director, Michael, and me. Michael has made this experience so memorable because when we have an idea, he listens and considers it for the show. Meg and I have also been giving each other ideas for things we could do to take the show to the next level, making our relationship in and out of the show even closer.”

"Daddy Long Legs" performs Oct. 13-15 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. in the Arena Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets ($15 Adults, $12 Senior Citizen [62+], $10 K-12 & non-USD students with ID, and free for USD students with ID) can be purchased in the afternoons (12 – 5 pm) starting Oct. 6 at the USD Theatre Box Office or by calling 605-658-3484; tickets can also be purchased now online at (click on “Theatre Events” at the bottom of the page).

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