Two Illinois State University School of Theatre alumni will return to the University’s Westhoff Theatre for a staged reading of their new play, Mother Justice, on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 7:30 p.m.

Playwright Michael Dice, Jr. and producer Brian Nitzkin will workshop their new play with a cast comprised of acting students under the direction of School of Theatre Professor Sandi Zielinski.

The plot revolves around the story of Doreen Quinn Giuliano whose son was sentenced to 25 years for Brooklyn’s 2003 “grid kid” slaying. Guiliano was convinced he’d been wrongfully convicted and to prove it she went undercover, testing her sanity, her marriage and the justice system. Dice crafted the play using a 2009 Vanity Fair article about Giuliano as source material.

Immediately following the performance, there will be a talkback where audience members can ask questions of and give feedback to the artists. A suggested donation of $5 will go toward additional renovations of Centennial West 207, one of the School of Theatre’s performance spaces. For more information about Mother Justice or any of the School of Theatre’s productions, visit, call (309) 438-2535 or connect using Facebook and Twitter.

Michael Dice, Jr. began his playwriting career while a student at Illinois State University. By graduation, his work had been produced by the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Dramatists, the New Millennium Theatre Company, the San Francisco Playwrights Foundation and the American College Theatre Festival. After earning an MFA in playwriting at Ohio University, he joined Chicago Dance Crash and co-created the long-running late night dance-improv hit The KTF Championship. Dice recently resumed his performance career with a featured role in the Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company’s production of Cherrywood.

Brian Nitzkin earned a degree in theatre education from Illinois State. After a brief career as a high school educator, he found success as a Broadway investor and producer with involvement in shows such as The Producers, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Slava’s Snowshow, and West Side Story. Additionally, he has produced the worldwide hit Jerry Springer – The Opera at Carnegie Hall and Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House.