Karen Saari, writer, ‘Rain on Fire

FIM Flint Repertory Theatre opens its 2023-24 season journey with the world premiere of ‘Rain on Fire, a new play by Michigan native Karen Saari. The play was part of Flint Rep’s 2022 New Works Festival.

“I’m thrilled that Flint Rep is producing the world premiere of this play. My time in Flint for the 2022 New Works Festival was so good for my creative soul—and the play!” said Saari.

“It felt like everyone involved—audience included—connected with the show and raised good questions that helped shape what you’ll soon see on stage. I’m looking forward to returning to Flint to work on the play and to share the production with an audience.”

‘Rain on Fire transports the audience to Michigan’s Northwoods and tells the story of Marie, who comes home to plan her addicted mother Lorraine’s funeral. “Rain” left a surprising final wish for Marie and her cousin Caleb, a meth user, to fulfill together.

Saari was inspired by spending more time in her Upper Peninsula town after her parents’ passing. She read stories about grandmothers going to prison for selling or delivering drugs, and saw how the opiate crisis infiltrated these communities.

“I started thinking and did some research. How might that tie in with this family I’d been picturing in my head? How can I help put a human face to what too easily becomes another headline?” Saari explained.
Flint Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Lluberes was blown away when he first read ‘Rain on Fire.

“Karen has written a complex family drama that is surprisingly funny and full of twists and turns,” he said. Lluberes cites Karen Saari as a theatrical voice to be reckoned with.

Lluberes continued on to explain that ‘Rain on Fire shines a light on people who don’t normally get stories told about them.

“The opiate crisis has affected so many people in this country and this play takes a deep dive into one family’s story of addiction, grief, anger and loss. It’s important to examine the lives affected by this crisis and to see stories on stage we haven’t seen before,” he said.

What makes this world premiere even more special is that it features a cast full of Michiganders. According to Lluberes, “This show hits close to home in so many ways, and we’re thrilled to feature so much local talent in its world premiere in Flint.”

Genesee County residents receive a 30 percent discount as a benefit of the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage.