Custom Made Theatre Co. presents 

The Book of Liz

by The Talent Family of David and Amy Sedaris

directed by James Nelson


liz_tickets Everyone’s favorite Squeamish Nun is back starting July 10th! For the 4th time!  Don’t miss the longest running, fastest selling show in Custom Made’s 16 year history!  LIZ always sells out, so get your tickets now! Buy single tickets to LIZ at our online box office! ($25-$35)

Elizabeth Donderstock makes delicious cheeseballs. Both original and smoky, mind you. Everyone loves the cheeseballs, in fact they are all that the religious community of Clusterhaven has left. But when Liz isn’t appreciated anymore, she decides to try the outside world.

There she’ll meet Ukrainians with cockney accents, restaurants run by recovering alcoholics, a certain peanut, and her own self worth. But will the cheeseballs ever taste the same again? This hilarious comedy could only from the devilish minds of both David (Me Talk Pretty One Day) and Amy (Strangers with Candy) Sedaris!

Tickets at:

Previews July 10, 8pm Opening July 11 8pm Runs July 12- August 2 Thurs-Sat 8pm; Sun 3pm and 7pm $30-$35

Getting to Gough Street Playhouse

Visit our directions page to plan a route via Google Maps.  Save the planet, take public transportation!


Last minute parking on-the-street is not recommended, but is possible with some planning. On weekday evenings a good approach is to park at 7:00pm between Bush and Pine on Franklin Street, just when it stops being a tow-away zone. At that time there are plenty of spaces, and plenty of restaurants to grab some dinner pre-show! There are also plenty of parking lots between Geary/Van Ness and the Theatre. Tickets at:  

The Book of Liz runs approx. 80 minutes, without an intermission 

“…[a] delightfully off-key, off-color hymn to clichés we all live by, whether we know it or not.” —NY Times.

“…[THE BOOK OF LIZ] may well be the world’s first Amish picaresque…hilarious…” —Village Voice.

“…acidic laughs…linguistic delight…” —Variety.

“Good-natured, goofy and frequently hilarious…” —NY Newsday.

“…laugh-out-loud funny…” —

Sister Elizabeth Donderstock is Squeamish, has been her whole life. She makes cheese balls (traditional and smoky) that sustain the existence of her entire religious community, Clusterhaven. However, she feels unappreciated among her Squeamish brethren, and she decides to try her luck in the outside world.

Along the way, she meets a Cockney-speaking Ukrainian immigrant couple who find her a job waiting tables at Plymouth Crock, a family restaurant run almost entirely by recovering alcoholics. The alcoholics love her. The customers love her. Her Danderfrock fits right in. Things are going great for Liz, until she’s offered a promotion to manager. Unfortunately, Liz has a sweating problem, and to get the job, she’ll have to fix it.

Meanwhile, back at Clusterhaven, Liz’s compatriots just can’t seem to duplicate her cheese ball recipe, and it’s going to cost them their quaint, cloistered lifestyle. They are panic-stricken and desperate, and sure she sabotaged the recipe.

Does Liz go through with the operation? Can the Squeamish be saved? Will the cheese balls ever taste good again? The answers to these and so many other questions can be found in the new comedy from the Talent Family, David and Amy Sedaris.

The Book of Liz features Stefin Collins, AJ Davenport, Justin Gillman, and Teri Whipple. 

Directed by James Nelson
Lighting Design by Maxx Kurzunski
Costume Design by Scarlett Kellum

Stefin Collins (Brightbee/Yvonne/Donny) is delighted to be having fun with his cast mates in his fourth romp in the world of the Squeamish: his first fully playing these zany characters.  Stefin has worked with: CMTC, SFFCT, Thunder Bird, KML, Actors Ensemble Berkeley, Box Car, Wily West, Virago Theatre, & others. A few favorite roles:  Praxis, the owl Maidrid’s Bow, Otto The Food Chain, & Little Stone in Eurydice* for CMTC (*nominated for a SFBATCC award for Best Ensemble).  He’s a member of TBA, CMTC, & is ASL fluent. AJ- ilye- you are my world. Visit Stefin at

AJ Davenport (Sister Elizabeth Donderstock) is not Squeamish upon her return to the Gough Street Playhouse as  Liz, a role she has dreamed of playing from the first Custom Made Production of The Book Of Liz.  She is over the moon to be working with such a talented cast and director.  AJ was most recently seen as Gil Wyatt in Devil Boys From Beyond at New Conservatory Theater.  A veteran of 20 years on Bay Area stages she has received multiple nominations for Bay Area theater awards. Her favorite roles include Ellen in CMTC’s Two Rooms, Sisser Bean in NCTC’s The Sugar Witch, Angel in Multi Ethnic Theater’s When You Coming Back Red Ryder and Von Helsing in La Vache Enraee’s production of Mac Wellman’s Dracula.  ILY Stefin, so happy to be playing with you in The Book Of Liz!

Justin Gillman (Reverend Joshua Tollhouse / Duncan Trask / Visil) is thrilled to be back with Custom Made after last winter’s The Pain and the Itch. Justin has worked with American Conservatory Theater (Tom in The Glass Menagerie – ACT Fellows), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Ground Floor Series), Shakespeare Santa Cruz (As You Like It; King Lear), SF Playhouse (Freddy in My Fair Lady – BATCC nominee), 42nd Street Moon (Painting the Clouds with Sunshine; I Married An Angel), New Conservatory Theatre Center (American Dream; The Temperamentals), and Bigger Than a Breadbox Theatre (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore; Robot Hand). Off-Broadway credits include Twelfth Night (Classic Stage Company) and When Last We Flew (Lucille Lortel – GLAAD Media Award, Best Play 2011). Next Up: Pastorella (EXIT Theatre, 10/9-25); Blood Wedding (EXIT Theatre, 11/7-22); Something for the Boys (42nd St Moon, 11/26 – 12/14). BFA: UC Santa Barbara. MFA: Columbia University.

Teri Whipple (Sister Butterworth, Oxana, Cecily, Visitor, Dr. Ginley, Ms. Foxley) is a company member of Custom Made Theatre, and this is her third production with the company.  She has a Performance Degree from San Francisco State University, and has also studied at A.C.T. and Shakespeare and Company.  She has worked for various theatre companies in the Bay Area, such as the Olympians Festival, BOA (Bay Are One Acts), Woman’s Will, San Francisco Stage Works, and WE Players–where she was part of the first ever theatre production on Alcatraz Island.  She is really excited to be part of this crazy play and hopes you all enjoy it too!  On a side note, Teri loves pirate jokes and wishes more people would tell them to her, so she can laugh out loud. Arr!

James Nelson (Director) makes his Custom Made debut with Book of Liz. Bay Area credits include Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Masquers Playhouse), Chapter Two (Ross Valley Players), Becky’s New Car (Dragon Theatre), Hamlet (assistant director, California Shakespeare Theater) and readings / play development with Tides/Amios SF, SF Olympians Festival, San Francisco Theatre Pub, and Subterranean Shakespeare.  James was formerly the Artistic Director of the Anglo-Irish Theatre in Tübingen, Germany, where he directed productions of Equus, Translations, And Then There Were None, The Pillowman, Romeo and Juliet, and Black Comedy. Other directing credits include three of his own plays: Banker’s Dozen, Henchmen, and Search for the Lino Bear. James is from Kansas City and holds a degree in theatre from UMKC. He is an alumni of Theatre Bay Area’s ATLAS program, and now works at the company as the Field Services Associate. James warmly thanks the cast and crew.


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