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By Donald V. Calamia
Little did Kristine Thatcher know last fall that her new Stormfield Theatre would soon be the only Equity theater within the city of Lansing's boundaries - but that became the situation in late May when her previous employer, the BoarsHead Theatre, closed its doors. But Thatcher isn't looking backwards; she's charging full speed ahead with Stormfield, and she's brought along with her many familiar and beloved faces. Thatcher talked recently with EncoreMichigan.com about her new company, its upcoming fundraiser June 4-6 and dropped a few hints at what theatergoers can expect in the near future.
What is your theater's mission statement?
Stormfield Theatre was created in August 2009 as a not-for-profit professional theater, which dedicates itself to the work of living American playwrights, as well as to the development of a culturally diverse community of theater artists and audiences. Stormfield will present powerful and relevant stories of our time within the confines of an intimate setting. It will create innovative educational programming in the theater arts for both students and adults. It will continue to expand its vision to become the most prominent representative of professional theater in Michigan's capital city.
What are your theater's long-term goals and objectives?
To bring the finest quality professional theater to the Lansing area, and to bring in the best theater actors and artists, both locally and nationally. It will continue to expand its vision to become the most prominent representative of professional theater in Michigan's capitol city.
What makes your theater different from any of the others in Michigan? What is it about you that is unique?
Stormfield Theatre is the newest and only professional theater in Michigan's capitol city, and it has dedicated itself to contemporary stories of our time through the work of living playwrights.
What is your programming philosophy? What type(s) of shows does your theater produce on its main stage - and why?
Stormfield Theatre is a living theater for our community. Our focus is presenting the works of living playwrights, as well a being a positive force in our community through such works as outreach and education.
What other types of programming, if any, does your theater offer - such as theater for young audiences, educational outreach, etc.?
Stormfield Theatre's goal, as a new and innovative company, will be to create exciting educational programming in the theater arts for both students and adults. Our goal is to offer multi-age and mutli-level classes in such areas as acting, play writing, speech, voice, directing and technical theater. We will continually expand this vision to become the most prominent representative of professional theater in Michigan's capitol city.
Is your theater an Equity (union) company?
What is the philosophy you use to cast your shows? From what talent pool(s) do you draw from?
We draw from talent pools locally, state-wide and nationally. This includes a culturally diverse body of theater playwrights, directors, actors, designers and technicians.
How does an actor go about arranging an audition?
Artists can feel free to email pictures and resumes to:
Artistic Director Kristine Thatcher at: email@example.com OR
Associate Director Katie Doyle at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: General auditions are planned for September 2010.
Does your theater offer an apprenticeship or internship program? And if so, what is the criteria - and how does someone apply for such a position?
No, not at this time.
Does your theater accept new play submissions? If so, how does a playwright go about submitting a script for your consideration?
Please address all play submissions to:
Artistic Director, Stormfield Theatre
P.O. Box 80463
Lansing, MI 48908
Please provide a cover sheet with your play submission, which includes:
Title of play
Name of playwright
Address, phone number and e-mail of playwright
Number of characters in the play
One page synopsis of play
You need only include a 10-page sample of dialogue with the prior information. Stormfield will be in touch if full play copies are desired. Please note that pages sent to Stormfield Theatre cannot be returned.
What else should we know about your theater, the current season, etc.?
On June 4-6, Stormfield will produce a final staged reading for the season entitled The Value of Names by Jeffrey Sweet and featuring former BoarsHead Theatre co-founder and artistic director, John Peakes.
Through fund raising and the readings we have been producing in the 2009-2010 season, we are working to build a foundation so that we can produce fully mounted plays in the 2010-2011 season as well as building a home for Stormfield Theatre.
Theater name: Stormfield Theatre
Business address (including zip code): Stormfield Theatre, P.O. Box 80463, Lansing, MI 48908.
Performance address (including zip code): We currently perform at various spaces around Lansing.
Web address: To be activated soon.
Business office phone (including area code): None at this time.
Box office phone (including area code): Please phone ArtsTickets at 517-372-0945.
Box office hours of operation: 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Messages can also be left, and ticket confirmation will be replied to by phone.
In what year was your theater established: August 2009.
Company's founders: Kristine Thatcher, artistic director; Katie Doyle, associate director and production stage manager; Michelle Raymond, production manager and technical director.
Current leaders or management team: Kristine Thatcher, artistic director; Katie Doyle, associate director and production stage manager; Michelle Raymond, production manager and technical director.
Is your theater a non-profit, tax-exempt organization? Yes
Is your theater wheelchair accessible? Yes.
During which months of the year does your season run? It varies.
How many main stage productions do you offer each season? It will vary.
How many OTHER productions or programs do you offer each season? None at this time.
How many seats does your theater have? It varies, as our playing spaces vary from production to production.
What type(s) of seating is offered to your patrons (ex: general admission, reserved, etc)? General seating through ticket purchase by phone. Tickets can be purchased at the door, by check or cash, if seats are available.
In general, what is the price range for your non-discounted main stage tickets (exclusive of service charges and other fees)? It varies by show.
Are there service charges or other fees added to the price of the tickets? And if so, what are those charges and fees? There is a ticket charge of $1 per ticket – unless purchased with cash or check in person, then no additional charge.
In general, what is the price range for your OTHER programs and services? None available at this time.
Do you offer subscriptions to your main stage season? Not currently.
Do you offer discounts to senior citizens (and if so, what are the details)? Not currently.
Do you offer discounts to students (and if so, what are the details)? Not currently.
Do you offer group discounts (and if so, what are the details)? Not currently.
For ticket purchases, does your theater accept personal checks? Checks are accepted with tickets purchased at the door.
For ticket purchases, does your theater accept credit or debit cards? For tickets, please phone ArtsTickets at:517-372-0945. Credit cards are accepted BY PHONE. Cash and Checks only at the door.
Can tickets to your shows be purchased online - and if so, how? Tickets are currently not available online.
ABOUT KRISTINE THATCHER:
Kristine Thatcher is the current artistic director of Stormfield Theatre. She served for four years as the artistic director of the BoarsHead Theater.
She has been a proud member of Chicago's 2001 Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble since 1996. Her last work, Voice of Good Hope, which is based on the life of the late Texas congresswoman Barbara Jordan, premiered there and was nominated for the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work. Her first play, Niedecker, made its Chicago debut at The Writer's Theatre with Thatcher appearing in the title role. Niedecker was a finalist for both the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the National Arts Club's Joseph Kesselring Award, and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship. Her fourth play, Emma's Child, was the recipient of the 1995 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a 1997 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, the 1997 RESOLVE Award for Excellence in the Arts, the 1997 Cunningham Prize for Playwriting from DePaul University, and the 1997 After Dark Award for Outstanding New Work. Under Glass, a companion piece to Emma's Child, was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and premiered at Luna Stage. Her play Apparitions premiered at Peninsula Players in Door County. Among Friends premiered at Victory Gardens and is the winner of the 1997 Scott McPherson Memorial Award.
Thatcher has also directed or performed at Victory Gardens, First Folio, Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, Apple Tree Theatre, Writers' Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Hartford Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Roundabout Theatre, Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep and Cleveland Playhouse. Thatcher also has an extensive acting resume, with credits around the United States.
Stormfield Theatre will present a staged reading of The Value of Names at Red Cedar Friends Meeting House, 1400 Turner St., Lansing, June 4-6. Tickets: $25. For tickets, call 517-372-0945.