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Hit film 'Sister Act' becomes a musical blast from the disco past The Detroit News (April 17, 2014)

Student and teacher return to the stage in Hilberry's 'August: Osage County' The Detroit News (April 15, 2014)


Michigan premiere brings USO tour to Michigan

The Andrews Brothers
Meadow Brook Theatre
April 23 - May 18, 2014

Posted: April 17, 2014 at 8:37 a.m.

ROCHESTER Songs from the fabulous '40s hit the stage when the USO heads for the South Pacific. The headline act is the Andrews Sisters, but what happens when they get stuck in quarantine? Luckily, three brothers, who also just happen to have the last name of Andrews, know all the tunes! Songs include "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "Slow Boat to China," "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," and "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" sung like you've never heard them before.

"The Andrews Brothers" plays at Meadow Brook Theatre on the campus of Oakland University from April 23 through May 18. Written and created by Roger Bean, "The Andrews Brothers" has musical arrangements by Jon Newton and vocal and musical arrangements by Michael Borth.

"Last year we produced 'Life Could Be a Dream,' which was also created by Roger Bean," said Travis Walter, MBT artistic director. "Our audiences loved it! When I saw Mr. Bean had created a musical with 25 songs made famous by the Andrews Sisters, I knew we had to do it."

The cast of "The Andrews Brothers" includes Joe Lehman (Max), Lucas Wells (Patrick), Ben Garrett (Lawrence) and Allison Hunt (Peggy Jones).

"The Andrews Brothers" is directed by Travis W. Walter, with music direction by Daniel Feyer and choreography by Tyrick Wiltez Jones. Terry Carpenter is the stage manager, with set design by Jennifer Price Fick, costumes by Corey Globke, lighting by Reid G. Johnson and sound by Mike Duncan.

Tickets range from $25 to $40 and are available by calling the Meadow Brook Theatre box office at 248-377-3300 or going online at Student discounts are available at the box office. Groups of eight or more should call 248-370-3316 for group pricing.

Meadow Brook Theatre is located on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, MI at 2200 N. Squirrel Road. For additional information, please visit Meadow Brook Theatre is a nonprofit, cultural institution serving southeast Michigan for more than 45 years.


New flavor added to Shakespearean classic

Richard III
Performance Network
April 24 - June 1, 2014

Posted: April 16, 2014 at 8:53 a.m.

ANN ARBOR - From April 24 through June 1, William Shakespeare's famous history "Richard III" gets an innovative treatment in this boldly re-imagined tale of power, treachery, seduction and fate. Directed by Julia Glander, this revolutionary take on the age-old classic explores the themes and fate of gender, power and government set in the distant yet ominous future. This is an exciting first-time collaboration between student actors and faculty of Eastern Michigan University Theatre and the artists of Performance Network Theatre.

In this gender-fluid rendition of "Richard III," associate artistic director Carla Milarch stars as Richard III, the ruthless and conniving Plantagenet, whose ascent to power is littered with corpses. By casting this show in a gender blind style, Performance Network's production of "Richard III" seeks to examine the relationship between gender, identity and power. Milarch's rendition of Richard III is a transgender man who was born in a female body. Other examples of gender-fluid casting include John Seibert as Queen Margaret and Alysia Kolascz as Hastings. Other characters were cast that matched the gender of the actors, including Terry Heck as the Duchess of York, and Logan Ricket as Catesby.

"The quest for power (the crown) really felt like a means of survival - a perfect setting, actually, for a villain to take advantage of a disheartened people. Make our villain a female who openly identifies as a male, and it opens up possibilities for a time period in which gender fluidity comes to the forefront. I am particularly excited to have Carla Milarch bring a new, outrageous, audacious, and humorous re-imagining to Shakespeare's 'Richard III,'" said Glander.

Performance Network's production of "Richard III" may intrigue students, intellectuals, theater lovers and countless others with this dystopian interpretation of a Shakespearean classic. Patrons will be immersed into the future by set, props, and projections design by Monika Essen, lighting design by Daniel C. Walker, costume design by Katherine Nelson, and sound design by Will Myers.

"Richard III" runs Thursday through Sunday, April 24 - June 1 at Performance Network Theatre. Previews begin Thursday, April 24; opening night is Friday, May 2.

Regular tickets are $27 - $46 with discounts for students, seniors, children under the age of 16, and military. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 734-663-0681, or at the theater at 120 East Huron in Downtown Ann Arbor.


Wicked Green celebrates Shakespeare's 450th birthday with gender-twisting 'Twelfth Night'

By Bridgette M. Redman

Ryan Ernst, Bailey Boudreau and Emilio Rodriguez in "Twelfth Night." Photo: Wicked Green Productions

Posted: April 14, 2014 at 7:12 p.m.

Shakespeare's plays often lend themselves to modern treatments with some suggesting current themes more than others.

When it comes to plays about gender identity as a social construct, it's hard not to think of "Twelfth Night," Shakespeare's comedy in which male actors play women pretending to be men, and both male and female characters fall in love with the same mixed gender character.

It's the main reason that Emilio Rodriquez joined forces with Wicked Green Productions to put on a one-night showing of "Twelfth Night" to mark Shakespeare's 450th birthday on April 23. As co-director, producer, script editor and the actor who plays Olivia, Rodriquez wanted the play to both explore gender identity and to be a celebration of the Bard's birth.

"We're tying in the party element," said Rodriquez. "It brings in a cohesive, modern feel to the play, but doesn't go against the text. Because it is music and a party, we're doing it on Shakespeare's birthday. The core of the text perfectly aligns with a party."

Rodriquez brought his idea to Bailey Boudreau, and they decided to cast an all-male troupe just as was done in Shakespeare's time, but they'd add yet another twist to it.

"When Shakespeare did use males as females, they were dressed up with female powder face, but it was very clear they were males. His females are so much bolder than his males," Boudreau said. "So for Shakespeare in his time to be writing females that would never act that way, it makes us easy to bring it into the current age without modernizing it, but making it modern."

Boudreau said all of this idea originally came from Rodriquez, who had studied gender identity in college and how it was all a social construct. Rodriquez asked Boudreau to be an actor in the play, and the Wicked Green artistic director is playing the part of Viola, the woman who dresses as a man after being shipwrecked in a strange land. From there, Boudreau's role grew.

"I gladly took (Viola) on and costume design," Boudreau said. "In a lot of one-on-one discussions of his concept, I was going along with that and adding some ideas about the set and doing a lot of minimalistic things. I like to do theater that makes the audiences have to choose things. We don't give them much they decide what things mean."

Boudreau's role grew to that of costumer and co-director, and the two began to collaborate on how to make this play a new experience for its audiences.

"It was great to have a co-director," Rodriquez said. "I loved all of Bailey's suggestions, and we connected right away with a vision. It's a very good partnership."

One change is that the play is cut down from three hours to 75 minutes. The other is that the male actors playing female characters are not in drag. They also took advantage of the Michigan Actors Studio space where they will be performing. Michigan Actors Studio hosts comedy sports and improv troupes. One side has a red wall and the other side has a blue wall.

"It is very bold," Boudreau said. "You have to design accordingly. It just aided in the male-female action. Roses are red. Violets are blue. The red is the female side, the male is the blue side and the set was built around that."

Rodriquez pointed out that when you combine the red and blue backdrops, you get purple or Violet a color very similar to the name of the main character. He also said their set designer, Alexander Trice, worked with adding picture frames to the set that would suggest backgrounds like the sea or the count's courtroom.

"If we're going to have males playing females and not in drag and have the audience buy into that, we have to have a set that allows them to imagine it as well."

Since a one-night production leaves little time for news to spread about the show, Boudreau and Rodriquez said they're relying on social media and getting out a lot of posters in the Ferndale area. Also, all of their 10 actors are connected in the community. Since the performance is on a Wednesday, when other actors typically have the day off, they're hoping to see a lot of industry turn-out.

Rodriquez emphasizes that the performance is as much a party as it is a play.

"It is celebrating Shakespeare, and it still being alive so many years later," Rodriquez said. "Theater is a very viable art form, and we're celebrating one of its most accomplished places of origin. We're able to do that by bringing the idea of celebration, party and festivity and using a cast that is out-of-this-world funny. There are back flips and it is crazy. The idea of celebration is really what it is about. It's a celebration that we are in this art form together and it is a beautiful to think it has lasted this long."

SHOW DETAILS: Wicked Green Productions presents "Twelfth Night" at Michigan Actors Studio, 648 E. Nine Mile, Ferndale, 7:30 p.m. April 23. Running time: approximately 75 minutes. Tickets: $10 adult, $4.50 student. For information:

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This spring, Go Comedy! leads winter-weary Detroiters to 'better living'

Better Living through Human Amusements
Go Comedy!
April 17 - June 13, 2014

Posted: April 13, 2014 at 7:34 p.m.

FERNDALE - Go Comedy! wants you to live better with its latest original comedy, "Better Living through Human Amusements," which opens April 17 and continues through June 13. In addition, the theater continues its annual show with the Ferndale Library's Ferndale Reads program, and Michigan's largest improv tournament, BITS, returns April 30. Tickets for all shows are available now.

This spring, Go Comedy! will lead those who are tired, confused, grouchy and disorganized to "Better Living Through Human Amusements!" Whether you're a famous genius like Stephen Hawking or an infant struggling to master basic motor skills, Go Comedy!'s latest original comedy is sure to cure what ails you with a cavalcade of characters who have it much worse than you. Join Jen Hansen, Joe Hingelberg, Amber Hunt, Pj Jacokes, Travis Pelto and Chris Petersen for an evening of hilarious sketch comedy inspired by their long-running, award-winning late night comedy show. Directed by Hansen with assistance from Matt Naas, "Better Living Through Human Amusements" appears Thursday and Friday evenings at 8 p.m. April 17 - June 13. Tickets are $18.

For the fifth year in a row, Go Comedy! is proud to support Ferndale Reads, Ferndale's annual city-wide reading event. Each year the Ferndale Public Library selects a book and gives it away to participants in the community. The library and partnered organizations host programs in the community to encourage reading and discussion. The 2014 selection is "Annie's Ghosts" by Steve Luxenberg, which explores the true history of a family secret as it was discovered and investigated by the author. "Secrets | Secrets" explores the untrue, completely improvised history of five "Luxenberg siblings" as they reveal each other's secrets in front of a live audience. Featuring Michelle Giorlando, Gary Lehman, Jeremy St. Martin, Heather Sejnowski, and Bob Wieck, this original show is directed by James Quesada and appears Wednesdays through April 30 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 (or $5 in person with a valid library card).

It's 1986, and The Money Slot Arcade is hosting a video game tournament that pits two top gamers against each other. One has a girlfriend and mother pushing him, and the other is hitting drugs as hard as he is the games. "Defenders of Greatness: Joysticks of Glory" is written by Rj Cach and Aaron Johnstone and features Cach, Jacklynn Cherry, Erik Heilner, Lisa Jacokes, Johnstone, Jessica Loria, Sean McGettigan, Tom Novik, James Quesada, Sean Robinson and Jason Valentini. Directed by Pj Jacokes and Tommy LeRoy, the show will appear Thursdays at 10 p.m. through May 15 and at midnight on May 10 & 17. Tickets are $10.

Michigan's largest improv tournament returns for a fifth amazing year, when BITS begins Wednesday, April 30. The annual tournament brings 16 of the best improv troops from across the Detroit region to Go Comedy! in a single elimination competition. In August, the final two teams will compete for the $1,004 grand prize and a performance slot on the Go Comedy! schedule. Each week, two teams will face off on the Go Comedy! stage, with just 22 minutes to impress the audience with their skills. At the end of the hour, the audience will choose by secret ballot the winning team that will continue in the tournament. For information on registration dates and troupe submission guidelines, CLICK HERE.

Tickets ($5-$18) are available now for all Go Comedy! performances online at and beginning at 6:00pm Wednesday - Sunday in person at the Go Comedy! box office.

Go Comedy! Improv Theater is located at 261 East Nine Mile Road in Ferndale, MI 48220. For five years, Go Comedy! has offered the finest in improv and sketch comedy, Go U! The Improv Academy training center, road shows, classes and workshops for private parties, corporations and schools. For more information, call 248-327-0575;, or e-mail Pj Jacokes at

Go Comedy! upcoming schedule

Wednesdays, April 16, 23
8 p.m. - ITTY BITS, the short form improv tournament ($10)
9 p.m. - Secrets | Secrets, an original show presented with the Ferndale Library's Ferndale Reads program ($7)
10 p.m. - Proving Grounds, with Forever Fifteen ($5)

Wednesdays, April 30, May 7, 14, 21 & 28
8 p.m. - BITS Tournament ($10)
9 p.m. - Teacher's Lounge ($7)
10 p.m. - Proving Grounds ($5)

Thursdays, April 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15
8 p.m. - Better Living Through Human Amusements ($18)
10 p.m. - Defenders of Greatness: Joysticks of Glory ($10)

Fridays, April 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
8 p.m. - Better Living Through Human Amusements ($18)
10 p.m. The Go Comedy! All Star Showdown ($18)
11:45 p.m. - Name This Show (free)

Saturdays, April 19 & 26, May 3, 10*, 17*, 24 & 31
8 p.m. - The Go Comedy! All Star Showdown ($18)
10 p.m. - The Go Comedy! All Star Showdown ($18)
11:45 p.m. - Name This Show (free)
* Midnight May 10 & 17 - Defenders of Greatness: Joysticks of Glory ($10)

Sundays through May 25
Sundays are $10 in advance or pay-what-you-can at the door
7 p.m. - Fresh Sauce, Go Comedy!'s open improv jam
8 p.m. - The Sunday Buffet featuring the area's best improv troupes and weekly drink specials at the Go! Bar.
10 p.m. - Human Amusements



'Kinky Boots' leads Broadway Grand Rapids 2014-15 season in high-heeled style The Grand Rapids Press (April 13, 2014)

SHHH...The 'Sisters' Have Secrets! The CW50 (April 11, 2014)


UMS announces 2014-15 season

"Superposition" is part of the University Musical Society's 2014-15 season. Photo: Kazuo Fukunaga

Posted: April 13, 2014 at 9:48 a.m.

ANN ARBOR - The University Musical Society announces its 2014-15 season, which runs from Sunday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, April 26, 2015. The season features 69 performances by 42 different artists/ensembles. In addition to presenting world-class performances, UMS is also committed to creating unique and engaging ways for audiences to connect with the artists on stage through a robust offering of education and community engagement activities.

During the 2014-15 season, the UMS Education and Community Engagement department will be paying special attention to orchestral residencies, namely with the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas (Nov. 13-14, Hill Auditorium) and the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev (Jan. 24-25, Hill Auditorium). Utilizing a combination of UMS performances, pre- and post- show discussions, and masterclasses through the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, the UMS Education and Community Engagement department will offer the community a host of exciting ways to connect with the orchestras featured on the 2014-15 season. Specific educational events will be announced later this summer.

While UMS has tried to adhere to a consistent start time for certain days of the week, this season has a number of exceptions due to various scheduling considerations. Please review start times carefully before printing or posting.

"The 2014-2015 UMS Season offers audiences the chance to experience the very best performing artists in the world, right in their own backyard," said Kenneth C. Fischer, who enters his 28th season as UMS president. "While there are more ways than ever to discover arts and culture, UMS performances allow us to witness the heights of human achievement in real time. They offer us ways to connect, understand, and celebrate our histories, our stories, and our culture. Best of all, UMS performances will surprise you - they will awaken your curiosity, connect you to the community, and serve as a potent reminder of the vast capabilities of the human spirit. This season boasts two large-scale orchestral residencies with the San Francisco Symphony and the Mariinsky Orchestra and debut performances by artists such as ukulele phenomenon Jake Shimabukuro, jazz vocalist Gregory Porter, beloved Moth storyteller Edgar Oliver, 2013 MacArthur Fellow and choreographer Kyle Abraham, and the acclaimed electro-acoustic ensemble Dawn of Midi. The eclectic nature of UMS is something I'm very proud of; there truly is something for everyone. But more importantly, UMS audiences routinely have the opportunity to venture off the beaten path and try something new. The UMS 2014-2015 season is going to be incredible. You won't want to miss a thing."

Subscription packages go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, April 23 and will be available through Friday, Sept. 12. Current subscribers will receive renewal packets in April and may renew their series upon receipt of the packet.

For subscribers interested in creating a "custom-fit" series, UMS offers Series: You (formerly known as the Monogram Series). For patrons with a diverse range of interests looking to attend upwards of 5 performances in the 2014-2015 season, Series: You offers a 10-percent discount and access to the best seats in the house, along with all other subscriber benefits. Series: You is available through Friday, Sept. 12.

Tickets to individual events will go on sale to the general public online, in person, and by phone on Monday, Aug. 4. To be added to the mailing list, please contact the UMS Ticket Office at 734-764- 2538 or visit UMS also has an e-mail list that provides up-to-date information about all UMS events; sign-up information is available on the website.

For complete season information, log on to


This year's International Theater Series features five productions, three of which will unfold in the Power Center for the Performing Arts, one in the Arthur Miller Theatre, and one at the Experimental Theater at Skyline High School. Productions include:


FYT announces 2014-15 season

Posted: April 12, 2014 at 11:57 a.m.

FLINT Flint Youth Theatre announces its 2014-2015 season of professional theater, promising to engage, enlighten and entertain people of all ages and interests. Through public performances, school matinees and acting classes, Flint Youth Theatre's resident professional company serves students age 2 through college, and audiences of children and families, teens and adults. Dedicated to the mission of "changing lives through extraordinary live theater," FYT has planned a year of exciting plays, classes and events all dedicated to exploring the theme Hope Springs Eternal.

Executive artistic director Jeremy Winchester chose to focus on "hope" for the new season. Reflecting on this theme, Winchester said, "The road of life is often paved with hardship. While this is just as true today as it has ever been, it is Flint Youth Theatre's position that when faced with challenges, both individual and collective, we have a choice. We can choose to view our circumstances with despair, or we can elect instead - hope. Neither on its face changes the reality of the circumstances, but while despair shuts us down, hope leads to action and the possibility of change. Hope itself won't solve our problems, but it helps to create an environment where solutions are more possible. Hope and despair are both infectious, but are ultimately choices we can make individually, and as a community."

For the 2014-2015 season, Flint Youth Theatre has selected stories modeling the power and empowerment that hope brings to our daily lives. From its main stage Signature Series plays, to its First Stage and Off The Press series, to its Drama School, FYT invites the community to explore together the possibility and promise of hope.

Flint Youth Theatre offers season ticket packages that make the purchaser eligible for all subscriber benefits, including unlimited ticket exchange and priority notice for special events. Packages include:

Signature Series All 5 productions for the price of 3!
$36 (children)
$42 (teens/seniors/veterans)
$48 (adults)

Off The Press save 30%

Tickets for gifts and special group rates are available. Subscription packages may be ordered now by calling Flint Youth Theatre at 810-237-1530. Single tickets will go on sale on Monday, May 5.

The complete 2014-2015 season catalog will be available in May and will contain detailed information on performances, as well as FYT's other programs including Drama School, Learning Through Theatre and Workshops. Please contact Flint Youth Theatre at 810-237-1530 to secure a copy.

Flint Youth Theatre is generously supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Ruth Mott Foundation. FYT also receives support from the Flint Cultural Center Fund to benefit the Flint Institute of Music of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Agnes Bower Charitable Trust, James A. Welch Foundation, Charles Stewart Harding Foundation, The Whiting Foundation, and many individual gifts and donations.

FYT 2014 - 2015 Season

Imaginative, daring and insightful, the main-stage Signature Series of plays are drawn from literature, folklore, fantasy, history and social issues. These professionally-produced plays are for audiences of all ages. FYT will partner with a different community organization for each Signature Series play, in order to deepen the impact of the work on the young people of Genesee County and their communities. FYT's 2014-2015 Signature Series is sponsored by Health Alliance Plan of Michigan (HAP).

Alice in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
Adapted Sharon Holland
Directed by Samuel J. Richardson
Aug. 8 17
"Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle." Follow Alice down the rabbit hole on her journey of self-discovery. "Curiouser and curiouser," she faces obstacles and confusion on all sides, and chooses to push on to find her way home, and finds herself along the way.
Best suited for ages 6 and up
Special Event: Following the Aug. 9 performance of "Alice in Wonderland," FYT will celebrate former FYT director Susan D. Wood's longtime commitment to excellence in theater education with the Susan D. Wood Tuition Assistance Fund Benefit.

9 x Nourished
By Michael Rohd
Directed by Janet Haley
Devised by Michael Rohd and Flint Youth Theatre
Performed onsite at the new location of the Flint Farmers' Market
Oct. 17 Nov. 2
Through song and dance, a love story, a cooking lesson, and more, FYT examines the unique place the Flint Farmers' Market holds in our community. Performed at the Flint Farmers' Market and devised with nationally-renowned theatre maker Michael Rohd, this new show was developed in collaboration with Flint Youth Theatre artists over a two and a half year period, and celebrates the Market's value to our community's past, present, and future.
Best suited for ages 12 and up
Special Event: FYT's Harvest Party will precede the October 18 performance of "9 x Nourished." This annual benefit will include hors d' oeuvres, beer and wine, all onsite at the new Flint Farmer's Market.

By Carlo Collodi
Directed by Jeremy Winchester
Dec. 5 21
'Tis the season for giving, and Pinocchio wants the gift of becoming a real boy more than anything else in the world. Follow Pinocchio as he learns that it is not what we get that makes us whole, but rather what we give.
Best suited for ages 6 and up

Bud, Not Buddy
By Christopher Paul Curtis
Adapted by Reginald Andre Jackson
Directed by Rodney Creech
Feb. 27 March 15, 2015
It is 1936, and 10-year-old Bud Caldwell has been in and out of foster homes since his mother died four years ago. With nothing but a bag full of rocks and a heart full of hope, he sets out on a journey to find his true home.
Best suited for ages 8 and up

The Diary of Anne Frank
By Wendy Kesselman
Directed by Jeremy Winchester
April 24 May 10
"In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." Seventy years after these words were written by a young girl with every reason to give up, her example of willfulness continues to serve as a reminder of the incredible power of hope.
Best suited for ages 10 and up

Presented for adults and older teens, these staged readings of the latest plays from Broadway and American Regional Theater are followed by a talk-back with the performers and light refreshments. Off the Press is sponsored by Fandangles'

The Pavilion
By Craig Wright
Sunday, Sept. 21

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
By Christopher Durang
Sunday, Nov. 16

The Mountaintop
By Katori Hall
Sunday, Jan. 18

Stick Fly
By Lydia Diamond
Sunday, Feb. 15

Venus in Fur
By David Ives
Sunday, March 29

By Will Eno
Sunday, May 31


ArtsPower's production of
Harry the Dirty Dog
Friday, Nov. 7

ArtsPower's production of
The Rainbow Fish
Friday, Jan. 30

Theatreworks USA's production of
Charlotte's Web
Friday, Feb. 20

ArtsPower's production of
Dog Loves Books
Friday, April 17

Flint Youth Theatre has Special Events planned for the new season to expand and enhance the theater experience.

Susan D. Wood Tuition Assistance Fund Benefit
Saturday, Aug. 9
Following a performance of "Alice in Wonderland," FYT will celebrate former FYT director Susan D. Wood's longtime commitment to excellence in theater education.

Open House
Monday, Sept. 8
During this free community event, FYT opens its doors for a special behind-the-scenes look into its broad range of performance and education opportunities.

Season Harvest Party
Saturday, Oct. 18
Sample some of fall's famous bounty from the Flint Farmer's Market, and toast our season with its grapes and grains. Hors d' oeuvres, beer and wine are followed by a performance of "9 x Nourished."

Flint Institute of Music Annual Fundraising Auction
Saturday, May 16
A fun-filled evening of fabulous cocktails, silent auction, dinner and live auction.

For over a decade, FYT Drama School has been dedicated to working with young people providing one-on-one instruction while helping the class build towards a collective performance.

Summer Theatre Camps
July 7 - Aug. 1
For grades 1 through 12

Fall Acting Classes
Sept. 23 - Nov. 15
For age 2 through grade 12

Winter Acting Classes

Jan. 13 - March 7
For age 2 through grade 12

Spring Break Theatre Camp
April 6-11
For grades 3 through 6

Spring Acting Classes
April 14-June 6
For age 2 through grade 12

About Flint Youth Theatre
Flint Youth Theatre is a program of the Flint Institute of Music. In partnership with the Flint Symphony Orchestra and the Flint School of Performing Arts, its mission is to change lives through a lifelong continuum of music, dance and theater. Since 1957, FYT has provided inter-generational live theater arts programs for Flint and Genesee County residents. FYT is the nationally-acclaimed, award-winning resident theater company at the Flint Cultural Center.


Wayne State to host 'A Conversation with Apple Award Recipient Tom Skerritt'

Posted: April 10, 2014 at 8:58 a.m.

DETROIT Hollywood actor Tom Skerritt is coming back to where his remarkable 50-year career began. The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance proudly presents "A Conversation with Apple Award Recipient Tom Skerritt" at the Hilberry Theatre on April 22 at 5:30 p.m. Skerritt will appear in an "actors studio" style interview and question-and-answer session.

The Wayne State University Department of Theatre and Dance welcomes native Detroiter and former Wayne State University student Tom Skerritt back to the campus where he paved the path for his incredible career in television and film. He has appeared in over 40 films and 200 television episodes since 1962. Skerritt is best known for his work in "M*A*S*H," "Alien," "Top Gun," "A River Runs Through It" and the television series "Picket Fences" and "Cheers."

After serving in the Air Force, Tom Skerritt attended Wayne State University and later UCLA for filmmaking and directing. His first professional acting job was in the 1962 film "War Hunt" with Robert Redford and Sydney Pollock. Skerritt has appeared on Broadway in "A Time To Kill" and has also appeared on stage in Seattle at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in "Don Quixote" and at the Intiman Theatre in "Our Town." He also received WSU's Arts Achievement Award in 2007.

The Apple Award, named for Sarah Applebaum Nederlander, is given by the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University on behalf of the Nederlander family. In 2001, the Nederlander family formed a partnership with the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University, establishing the Sarah Applebaum Nederlander Award for Excellence in Theatre; an annual theater award and visiting artist fund in their mother's name. The Apple Award brings a nationally prominent theater professional to Detroit and the Wayne State University campus as a guest lecturer to interact with and educate the rising stars of the Department of Theatre and Dance through master classes and a question-and-answer style forum. Previous Apple Award winners include Neil Simon, Carol Channing, David Stone, Stephen Schwartz, Mandy Patinkin, Patti Lupone, Marvin Hamlisch, and Elaine Stritch.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at, at 313-577-2972 or at the Hilberry Theatre box office.


An early start for Lansing's Renegade(s)

Shop Talk
Renegade Theatre Festival
April 15, 2014

Posted: April 8, 2014 at 7:58 a.m.

LANSING - The Renegade Theatre Festival has created a new series called Renegade Readings to showcase the work of local playwrights and lead to the annual free Renegade Theatre Festival, this year running Aug. 14-16.

"Shop Talk" is the brainchild of playwright Bill Helder: four short plays by local playwrights that all tell stories of life in "the shop." Plays include "The Beauty Shop" by Roger Rochowiak, "The Coffee Shop" by Jane Zussman, "The Flower Shop" by Eileen O'Leary, and Helder's own "The Costume Shop."

Bob Robinson directs, and the cast includes Ken Beachler, Sue Chmurynsky, Katie Dufort, Chanae Houska, Diana Lett, Jeff Magnuson, and Amy Rickett.

"Shop Talk" will take place Tuesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Absolute Gallery, loacted at 307 E. Grand River, Lansing.

Admission is free.

The eclectic Absolute Gallery, a regular location during the August theater festival, has graciously opened its doors for the Renegade Readings. A second reading is being planned for mid-June and will feature spoken word artists including Suban Nur Cooley and Janet Colson.


Pigeon Creek hits the road

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Pigeon Creek Shakespeare
April 12 - May 2, 2014

Posted: April 7, 2014 at 8:20 a.m.

GRAND RAPIDS - The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, an award-winning touring company based in West Michigan, will present its production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Dog Story Theater, 7 Jefferson SE in Grand Rapids April 17-19 and 24-26 at 8 p.m., and April 20 and 27 at 3 p.m.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" follows four young lovers who venture into the forest outside of Athens and get more than they bargained for when they encounter the magical fairies who inhabit the forest. A group of amateur actors also becomes the victims of fairy magic, and hilarious confusion ensues.

Pigeon Creek's production features Steven Anderson, Kathleen Bode, Antonio Copeland, Kimi Griggs, Amanda Heeren, Janelle Mahlmann, Chad Marriott, Kristin Ripley, Janna Rosenkranz, Sarah Stark, Brad Sytsma, Kate Tubbs, and Kyle Westmaas. The production is directed by Kat Hermes and Scott Lange.

Tickets to the Dog Story performances are $14 for adults and $7 for students and seniors, and are available at the Dog Story website at

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" will also play at venues in Ludington and Spring Lake. Information about all upcoming Pigeon Creek performances is available at

Tour schedule: A Midsummer Night's Dream

April 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Ludington Area Center for the Arts
107 South Harrison Street, Ludington
Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for students in advance
$15 for adults, $8 for students at the door
For tickets, call 231-845-2787

April 17-19 and April 24-26 at 8 p.m. & April 20 and 27 at 3 p.m.
Dog Story Theater
7 Jefferson SE, Grand Rapids
Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for students and seniors
For tickets, visit

May 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Seven Steps Up
116 South Jackson, Spring Lake
Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for students and seniors
For tickets, call the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company at 616-850-0916


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