The play opens in “a corner inside an enormous circus tent”. Two vendors, Mr. Zuss (evoking the chief Greek god Zeus; zuss is also German for “sweet”) and Nickles (i.e. “Old Nick,” a folk name for the Devil)  begin the play- within-a-play by assuming the roles of God and Satan, respectively. They overhear J.B., a wealthy New York banker, describe his prosperity as a just reward for his faithfulness to God. Scorning him, Nickles wagers that J.B. will curse God if his life is ruined. Nickles and Zuss then watch as J.B.’s children are killed and his property is ruined and the former millionaire is left to the streets. J.B. is then visited by three Comforters (representing History, Science and Religion) who each offer a different explanation for his plight. J.B. declines to believe any of them, instead asking God himself to explain. Instead he encounters Zuss and Nickles. Nickles urges him to commit suicide in order to spite God; Zuss offers him his old life back if he will promise to obey God. J.B. rejects them both, and instead finds comfort in the person of his wife Sarah. The play ends with the two building a new life together.


2nd Roustabout – Tim Adrianson

Prop Women – Barbara Fickau, Betty Ihlow

1st Roustabout – Peter Moody

Nickles – Brooks Darrah

Ms. Zuss – Jean Deltgen

Simon – John Deltgen

Ruth – Jennifer Washburn

Jonathan – Tommy Radtke

Mary – Debby Radtke

David – Jeff Radtke

Sarah – Barbara Bassewitz

J.B. – Steven Schlehlein

The Girl – Diane Gillig

Mrs. Murphy – Lorraine Selinski

Mrs. Adams – Aleda Lisch

Mrs. Botticelli – Judy Washburn

Miss Mabel – Wendy Scattergood

Mrs. Lesure – Sharon Browne

Jolly – Tammy Browne

Zophar – Peter Moody

Bildad – Bob Bales

Eliphaz – Joe Selinski

Production Staff

Director/ Designer: David W. Keyte

Stage Manager: Mark Tellen

Costume Designer: Pat VonRautenkranz

Light Design: Don Zastrow

Sound Design: Carter VonRautenkranz

Properties: Marilyn Zimmermann, Pearl Haartman

Make-Up Design: Mary Braun, Nancy Spalinger

Master Carpenters: Walter Weimann, Ludwig Johst, Robert Gaurkee

Paint Master: Pal Scahill

Cover Art: Roger Lahm

Production Photographer: Rick Gustafson