Smile Medicine by Dakota Parobek. Illustration of a dog and bird sitting on a brick wall looking at a smiling moon with a halo.

Smile Medicine

Nov 12, 2021 to Nov 20, 2021
Dakota Parobek
Directed by: 
Paul Kalina
E.C. Mabie Theatre
Friday, November 19, 2021 - 8:00pm
Saturday, November 20, 2021 - 8:00pm


After the sudden loss of their best friend, Good-dog, Sad-bird must adjust to their new life in a world of angels, anarchists, aliens, and the ghost of a disgraced Russian scientist. As Sad-bird searches for their place on earth, Good-dog searches for his place among the stars. Smile Medicine explores the timely themes of depression, loss, regret, and hope through humor, lamentation, and music.

This performance contains strong language, ableist language, discussions of animal abuse, substance abuse, sexual assault, and suicidal ideation. Theatrical haze and strobe lighting effects will be used.

Virtual Lobby

In advance of the performance, we'd like to invite you to visit our Virtual Lobby to learn more about the production and our team.


Role Name
Sad-Boy Peter Noll*
Sad-Bird Kate Anderson*
Good-Dog Virginia Wangechi Muturi*
Laika Allison Sass*
Oleg Gazenko Bob Mussett
Alien Colin Payan*
Angels Sara Alvidrez*, Braxten Jones*, Erin Luo*, Miriam Ochs*, Ellie Turk*
Ensemble Andrew Heligas*, Regan Heying*, Jacob Licht*, Kyle Schindler

Creative Team

Title Role
Playwright Dakota Parobek
Director Paul Kalina
Scenic Designer R. Eric Stone**
Costume Designer Bethany Kasperek
Lighting Designer Nick Coso
Media Designer Emily Berkheimer*
Sound Designer Skid Krommendyk*
Music Supervisor/Arranger/Vocal Coach Mark Bruckner
Dramaturg Nate Ferguson
Stage Manager Mady Davis
Assistant Lighting Designer Reese Morgan*
Assistant Stage Manager Jordan "J.J." Jones


Instrument Name
Piano Rayne Dias
Drums Eric M. Thompson
Bass Blake Shaw

*Undergraduate student. UI Theatre is dedicated to providing hands-on theatre experience for both undergraduate and graduate students.
**Member of the United Scenic Artists, Local 829.


Tickets are available through the Hancher Box Office at 319-335-1160 or online at Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office at the Theatre Building one hour prior to the performance, on an as-available basis, unless the production is sold out.

Capacity is limited and all seating is general admission. Masks are strongly encouraged.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Hancher Box Office in advance at 319-335-1158.


Link to the DAILY IOWAN article about the creation of SMILE MEDICINE.

Production Photos

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