If You Must


If You Must

Tickets Now Available! (Click here)

July 30 & 31 at 7:30pm, Aug 1 at 7:30 and 9 PM

Tickets $12 in advance, $15 at the door


The Cardboard Sea proudly presents the premiere of Jeff Donnelly’s “If You Must” at the Magnetic Theatre.

Jeff Donnelly and Todd Weakley have collaborated since 1994. Many of their projects include work with The Redundant Theatre Company Theatre, where Weakley was a founding member. Influenced by theatrical pioneers like Sam Shepard and Tennessee Williams, with a healthy dose of the cinematic, Quentin Tarantino, playwright, Jeff Donnelly has crafted a body of work that invites audiences into the intimate and volatile experience of live performance. As for Todd Weakley, Bertolt Brecht, Joint Stock Company, and modern ensembles like Pig Iron Theatre, Rude Mechanicals, and Missoula Oblongata have led the way.

A commitment to the transformative nature of live performance, a belief in the collaborative process, and a magnetic obsession for storytelling, The Cardboard Sea seeks to activate, engage, surprise, and provoke audiences into new and challenging territory.

“If You Must” is The Cardboard Sea’s first production. The play is a dark comedy that examines the way our personal histories define and destroy us.

“It is an exciting story, and we have a crazy good cast,” says Weakley who will serve as director. “Our vision is a theatre founded in the question of ‘what is theatre?’ Why is this event a play? Why is it not a novel or movie? What makes it absolutely necessary?”

“There is something beautiful about the live experience of a play. Something that demands attention in ways that other media cannot replicate,” says Donnelly.

Local actress and company member Lauren Williams adds, “What we are saying is that we are breathing the same space, dealing with the same issues. We don’t have answers for you. We just want to present and enjoy the questions with you.”

“If You Must” focuses on three characters, all in their mid twenties, Alex, Jordan, and Casey. Late one summer evening, they wait in a park for a new day to dawn. In this public space, they discover the lies that hold them together and the layers of truth that inevitably pull them apart.

“It is a haunting story, but one I think audiences will engage with and be moved by,” says Weakley.

The Cardboard Sea is dedicated to the transformative nature of the theatrical event for both audience and actor. We aim to: produce works of social significance, highlight the constructed nature of the theatrical event, and provoke self-reflection and critical perspectives of onstage action.


“It is only a paper moon

Sailing over a cardboard sea

But it wouldn’t be make-believe

If you believed in me”

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