PTG play “Found Dog” captures audiences


Courtesy of Players' Theatre Group

Macy Dickerson’s Norm (left) and her dog played by Mary Coulter (right) deliver an equal number of laughs and heartfelt moments in PTG’s “Found Dog” alongside the rest of its cast.

Mulan Ma, Engagement Editor

With a lovable and unique cast of characters, punchy humor that keeps the clock ticking away and masterfully done moments of vulnerability in between, I may have found a great time in “The Found Dog Ribbon Dance,” a show produced by Players’ Theatre Group (PTG) and directed by Case Western Reserve University’s Campbell Dukes. Shown in Eldred Hall, this play was a full circle moment for Dukes, who began acting in that very building in their first year at CWRU, and is now directing on its stage in his final year.

“The Found Dog Ribbon Dance,” written by Dominic Finocchiaro, follows Norma (Margot McCann), a woman who found herself as a professional cuddler after a line of odd jobs. To no one’s surprise—as it is the title of the play—she finds a dog (Mary Coulter). She spends most of the play looking for the dog’s owner while interacting with her eccentric clients, such as a rowdy teenage girl (Maddie Pollock) and an old man of few words named Xeno (Maizy Windham). You will absolutely lose your mind when Miranda (Angela Howell) stomps on set to play a high-strung mother who just wants her dog, or quite frankly, anyone’s dog back with her rowdy high-maintenance children.

When watching the play, I was amazed at how much happened within an hour and 20 minutes. 

I knew it was going to be good when Norm’s actor came on stage with a fantastic ribbon dance to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston—a tie-in to the play’s title. The cast shone with its hilarious rendition of the awkward first conversations between Norma and Norm (Macy Dickerson), the latter having a penchant for blurting out whatever strange things he’s thinking. 

After the show had ended, I knew I had to ask Dukes about their experience directing this play and what it meant to them.


How did you come to discover this play?

It was the summer between my junior and senior year of high school and I went to a public arts boarding school my junior and senior years. My junior year spring I ended up getting really sick and ended up in the hospital for a few months … Over the summer I discovered this website called New Play Exchange … and I just discovered this play and it just stuck with me through all the years. I remember being a freshman in college and wanting to direct this play with a student group and now I have!

What was it like directing your first full-length play?

It was certainly very exciting and nerve-racking. I learned a lot. I definitely took the approach of giving my actors a lot of leeway and having faith in their intuition to make their own decisions with blocking. I just tried to guide them more. I am so lucky to have the actors that I have … They’re all very capable and talented and it was a pleasure to work with all of them.

What is your favorite part of the play?

My favorite part of the play? I have two answers. My first is the scene where Norm is like “Go out with me!” because Macy and I worked on getting the comedic timing right. It makes me laugh so hard every time. Also, the scene where Miranda is coming to try to find her dog and try to buy the dog, Keith. I feel like that scene is so funny and I always tear up a little bit. Another one is Norm dancing with the ribbons.

What do you think the audience should take away from this play?

I think the audience should take away that for the most part everyone is deserving of love no matter how weird you feel like you are or how bad your past is in terms of love. I just want the audience to have a warm sense of “I am loved and I am ready to love.”


As an audience member, this sentiment was best shown by the line, “There is no stronger vow of devotion than to take another’s burden as your own and let them do the same for you.” To end the interview, I barked at Dukes—a fitting way to conclude the “The Found Dog Ribbon Dance.”