33 Variations

by Moises Kaufman

March 28, 2013 - June 1, 2013

In 19th century Austria, Ludwig van Beethoven works obsessively on a commission he cannot complete. In present day, musicologist Katherine Brandt struggles to solve the mystery behind her professional passion: Beethoven’s oft overlooked “Diabelli Variations”. As she races against time, Katherine not only discovers the true nature of Beethoven’s work, but gains insight into the other mystery in her life: her daughter. Moving between the past and the present, 33 Variations illustrates how the very passions that threaten to overwhelm us can also save us.

Contains adult language and content.

Directed by Guy Sanville


  • David Bendena

  • Daniel Britt
  • Lauren Knox
  • Richard McWilliams
  • Michelle Mountain
  • Michael Brian Ogden
  • Rhiannon Ragland

Press Quotes

“While the cast forms the seamless ensemble we’ve come to expect at the Purple Rose, Michelle Mountain as Katherine and Richard McWillams as Beethoven are outstanding…As an illustration of the human will’s triumph over adversity, “33 Variations” is an uplifting experience.”

“Go see this perfect play. You may not know much about Beethoven. You may never have watched a loved one endure a debilitating disease. But if you have ever wondered about the mysteries of love and life and sorrow and joy, you will find this production speaks to you on a personal level.”

“McWilliams is compelling as the larger-than-life, ultimately inscrutable composer, though David Bendena, playing Beethoven’s assistant Anton Schindler, manages to steal a few scenes in his own right. And Ragland locates both the humor and the heart in Gertrude. But the show is primarily a showcase for Mountain, who depicts her character’s physical deterioration, and emotional evolution, with skill and care.” -AnnAbor.com

This production has been generously sponsored by:

The Hamp Family
Sage Foundation
Matilda R. Wilson Fund
Craig & Donna Common
Peter & Patti Feeney
William B. Holmes Family
David A. Brandon Foundation
Dawn J. & Jeffrey S. Williams Charitable Gift Fund
Chelsea Comfort Inn & Village Conference Center
Chelsea State Bank
Classic Turning, Inc.
Curtis & Curtis, P.C.