LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – What are you supposed to do when you wake up one morning to find your husband gone and your bank account empty?

That’s the dilemma faced by Undine Barnes Calles, the main character of Riverwalk Theatre’s latest production “Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine.”

The play, written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Rose Jangmi Cooper, is a comedic yet biting satire about the struggles faced by a young Black expectant mother trying to make her mark in life against great odds.

Though Undine seems to experience one set back after another, “Fabulation” also explores what it takes to bounce back from hitting your personal rock bottom.

Cast member Julian Van Dyke is a Lansing-based artist that’s previously collaborated with Riverwalk Theatre on its adaptation of the young adult novel “Bud, Not Buddy.”

He found “Fabulation” to be remarkable to work on thanks to its cast and crew that features many Black artists and performers from the Lansing community.

“Lead actress Vanessa Mazhangara is dynamic. I told her she should go to New York or Chicago. We were studying for the play, and she had her part pretty much down in the first few weeks,” Van Dyke said.

It was a special experience for Van Dyke – a painter by trade, who isn’t a full-time actor. To add to the challenge, he plays three completely different characters: a concerned father, a recovering drug addict, and an FBI agent.

 “Rose Cooper and I did a play together before COVID struck us, so when she asked me to do it, I said, ‘Sure,’” Van Dyke said. “The content of the play deals with what society is dealing with now, but in a funny way.”

For more information about “Fabulation,” including showtimes and ticket prices, visit