For the period: March 3-9, 2015      
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Original play unites characters from Shakespeare works

Good Men and True
Planet Ant Theatre
March 6-28, 2015

Posted: March 1, 2015 at 11:30 a.m.

HAMTRAMCK, MI - What happens when characters from Shakespeare's "Merchant Of Venice," "As You Like It" and "Twelfth Night" come together during a violent tempest at sea? The answer will be found in the original Shakespearean play "Good Men and True" by Marty Shea and Ian Bonner making its debut at Planet Ant Friday March 6.

A violent tempest rages while occupants of a storm-weary boat debate their forthcoming fate. When a member of the crew suggests that a woman hiding aboard has angered King Neptune, causing him to create such a storm, the passengers begin to question each other, themselves, and the roles they play in society. Taking characters from Shakespeare's "The Merchant Of Venice," "As You Like It," and "Twelfth Night," "Good Men and True" is an original Shakespearean play by Detroit playwrights Marty Shea and Ian Bonner, under the direction of Sara Catheryn Wolf (St. Clair Shores).

This production features Jaclynn Cherry (Rochester Hills), DeAnnah Kleitz-Singleton (Hamtramck), Kez Settle (Detroit), and Jackie Strez (Dearborn) with stage management by Nicholas Pobutsky (Detroit). "Good Men and True" premieres at Planet Ant Friday March 6 and continues through March 28 with performances Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on March 15 and 22. Tickets ($10-20) are on sale now at www.planetant.com or in person 30 minutes prior to show time at the Planet Ant box office based on availability.

Planet Ant Theatre is located at 2357 Caniff in Hamtramck, MI 48212. It is a non-profit professional theatre founded 21 years ago on the principle of artistic freedom and artistic experimentation leading to the growth of community, artistic fulfillment, and artistic success. The theatre has presented more than 130 high quality professional productions to southeastern Michigan with a commitment to providing the best in theatrical productions that has brought it critical acclaim and awards from across the region. More information on Planet Ant Theatre is available online at www.planetant.com.

SHOW DETAILS:
"Good Men and True"

Planet Ant Theatre
2357 Caniff in Hamtramck, MI 48212
8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, March 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
2 p.m. Sunday, March 15, 22
$20 ($10 March 6 & 7)
313-365-4948
www.planetant.com

 

OTHER VOICES - NEWS & PREVIEWS: March 3, 2015

Introducing the Slipstream Theatre Initiative - Hip in Detroit (March 2, 2015)

Guy Louis brings ‘One Love' to Meadow Brook - Daily Tribune (Feb. 24, 2015)

Performance Network goes green with the Irish comedy, 'Stones in His Pockets' - Mlive.com (March 3, 2015)

Chelsea's Purple Rose Theatre offering audition, Shakespeare courses - The Chelsea Standard (Feb. 18, 2015)

Once On This Island comes to Meadow Brook Theatre - WDIV - Detroit (March 2, 2015)

Mason Street Warehouse Season Announcement - Youtube (March 3, 2015)

 

Special post-show discussions at Matrix Theatre

Posted: Feb. 27, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.

DETROIT - Special post-show events inspired by the themes of racial prejudice and school desegregation in Mark St. Germain’s "Best of Enemies" are planned for Matrix Theatre Company’s production running Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Sunday, March 15. All events are free with the price of admission and take place on Sunday, March 1, and Sunday, March 8 at Matrix Theatre located at 2730 Bagley in the heart of Detroit’s Mexicantown.

The first of two discussions takes place Sunday, March 1 after the 3 p.m. performance. Graig Donnelly, Director of Detroit Revitalization Fellows at Wayne State University, and Lauren Hood, co-founder of Deep Dive Detroit, lead an informative and interactive discussion with audiences entitled, "Displacement of Detroiters: Enough Room for Everyone?" Together, audiences take a close look at the changes happening within the City of Detroit and help unpack the complex issues present in our communities today.

The second discussion, "The Gray Area between Black and White: How Far Have We Come Since 1971?” takes place Sunday, March 8. How much has changed in 44 years? Some think the election of President Obama signified the beginning of a post-racial American society. Others think some Americans are just as a racist today as they have been for generations. A diverse group of panelists will discuss issues like racism, privilege, and race relations and search for solutions to these social problems.

Directed by Kelly Komlen, "Best of Enemies" takes place in the early 1970s, when Ann Atwater, an African-American civil rights activist, and CP Ellis, an Exalted Cyclops of the Durham Ku Klux Klan, found themselves on the same side of the public school integration debate and were appointed co-chairs of a committee to resolve problems surrounding the court-ordered school desegregation process. The play portrays how their initial distrust and hatred evolved into a deep friendship as they gradually found common ground and overcame their hatred for the good of the community.

All performances are presented at Matrix theatre Company, located at 2730 Bagley in the heart of Detroit’s Mexicantown. Ticket prices range from $15 to $20. Group rates are available. For further information on the production, visit www.encoremichigan.com, or to order tickets, go to www.matrixtheatre.org , or call 313-967-0599.

Matrix Theatre Company - Celebrating 24 years as a non-profit, community-based theatre, the award-winning Matrix Theatre Company is located in southwest Detroit. To build community, improve lives, and foster social justice, Matrix Theatre Company teaches, creates, and shares theatre as an instrument of transformation. Matrix often creates everything from scratch, from puppets of all sizes to more than 140 original plays. For further information or to follow Matrix on Facebook, Twitter and Blogger, go to matrixtheatre.org.

 

Exploring poetic form in Tennessee Williams' classic play

The Glass Menagerie
Puzzle Piece Theatre
March 13-29, 2015

Posted: March 4, 2015 at 3:18 p.m.

DETROIT - As he searches for a life of adventure, Tom Wingfield is haunted by memories of the past that cast shadows on the present. This March, Puzzle Piece Theatre brings a fresh take to an American classic, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. Guest artist Amanda Grace Ewing returns to Puzzle Piece to direct this New York Drama Critics Circle Award winner. This rhapsodic play weaves in and out of memory - investigating family dynamics buried in the reminiscence of long past choices. The production runs from March 13-29, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. Performances of "The Glass Menagerie" will take place in the Abreact Performance Space, located at 1301 West Lafayette Detroit, MI 48226. Tickets are $20 and can be ordered online at www.puzzlestage.org

Connie Cowper, as Amanda, anchors a powerful cast bringing to life this timeless tale. Producing Artistic Director D.B. Schroeder will make his Puzzle Piece acting debut as Tom- joined by audience favorite Associate Artistic Director Laura Heikkinen in the role of Laura. Zach Hendrickson, taking the role of Jim, returns to Puzzle Piece after a fascinating performance as Seth in the company's debut production of "Show and Tell."

“Williams is such a versatile writer, I have always considered ‘Menagerie’ as an exploration of poetic form.” offers director Ewing. "Our production will be an unfamiliar trip into familiar territory: investigating memory, family, and the choices we’ve made that dictate who we are.”

Producing Artistic Director D.B. Schroeder explains why he wanted to share this story with Detroit audiences. “Everyday we make choices and those choices can impact not only those around us, but entire communities. The struggle of those who stay and what happens to those who are left behind is at the heart of 'The Glass Menagerie' and that struggle is one that our region knows all to well. We are ready to share this moving drama with our audiences.”

SHOW DETAILS:
"The Glass Menagerie"

Puzzle Piece Theatre
Abreact Performance Space, 1301 West Lafayette Detroit, MI 48226
8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, March 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
2 p.m. Sunday, March 15, 22, 29
$20
313-303-8019
www.puzzlestage.org

 

Opera celebrates the tumultuous life of Frida Kahlo

Frida
Michigan Opera Theatre
Macomb Center
The Berman
Detroit Film Theatre
March 7-28, 2015

Posted: Feb. 27, 2015 at 12:43 p.m.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI - Robert Xavier Rodriguez's "Frida" focuses completely on the tumultuous life of its title character Frida Kahlo. At the age of 18, Kahlo was on a bus that collided with a trolley car, causing her injuries that would lead to a lifetime of medical procedures and pain, and would inspire her to create some of the most compelling paintings of the 21 century. Kahlo's marriage to famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, the artist who created Detroit Industry for the DIA, was a source of both inspiration and heartache. The opera celebrates Kahlo's vivacious spirit, talent, sexuality, and fragility in scenes filled with wide-ranging music as complex and colorful as Kahlo's artwork.

Columbian soprano Catalina Cuervo will sing the title role of Frida Kahlo in all performances and Mexican-born bass-baritone Ricardo Herrera will sing the role of Diego in all performances. Music by Robert Xavier Rodriguez, book by Hilary Blecher, lyrics by Migdalia Cruz, the opera was first performed in Philadelphia, 1991. "Frida" is sung in English and Spanish with English translation projections.

Michigan Opera Theatre announced that DTE Energy Foundation is the title sponsor for its March 2015 co-production with the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts of the opera "Frida." The Foundation's support is enabling MOT's first main stage opera production outside the Detroit Opera House, bringing world-class opera experiences directly to audiences in Macomb and Oakland counties for the first time.

"With this presenting sponsorship, the DTE Energy Foundation is able to provide a great opportunity to share Frida's story through the beautiful storytelling art of opera," said Faye Alexander Nelson, vice president of Public Affairs for DTE Energy and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. "Through these performances, communities of young and old - from wealthy communities to challenging ones - will hear about the life of this great Latina artist, her struggles, and her triumphs through her art."

This co-production marks the beginning of an annual collaboration between MOT and Macomb Center, which is a community enrichment program of Macomb Community College. The opera will open with performances on Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8, at the Macomb Center. First State Bank, headquartered in St. Clair Shores, is sponsoring a pre-opening Gala before the Saturday performance and After Glows following both performances at the Macomb Center.

"Macomb Community College's new partnership with MOT is a unique opportunity to amplify the impact of one of our region's cultural treasures," said Dr. James Jacobs, president, Macomb Community College. "Collaboration is a key facet of Macomb's philosophy in realizing our mission of education, enrichment and economic development, and we value the chance to provide this special cultural experience to our community members."

Subsequent performances of "Frida" are scheduled for the Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield March 21-22, made possible by the generosity of the Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation, and the Detroit Institute of Art's Detroit Film Theatre, March 27 & 28. This series of performances is also supported by a grant from Karen and Rick Williams.

"Community engagement is a principal theme for Michigan Opera Theatre. Through the opera, "Frida," three new partnerships reflect a new era for artistic collaboration in Southeastern Michigan," said Wayne S. Brown MOT's president and CEO.

The opera is one of a series of regional events scheduled to complement the DIA's special exhibition, "Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit," March 12-July 12. Macomb College's Lorenzo Cultural Center, which is adjacent to the Macomb Center and provides multi-faceted programs to explore the influences and experiences that shape our community's heritage through presentations, activities and exhibits, will also be featuring Rivera and Kahlo in its program series Feb. 28-May 9, "101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan."

Tickets to all performances are available for purchase at the Michigan Opera Theatre box office by phone at (313) 237-SING, or online at michiganopera.org. Tickets to the performances at the Macomb Center are available by calling (586) 286-2222 or at www.MacombCenter.com.

Michigan Opera Theatre (www.michiganopera.org) is one of the nation's most vibrant regional opera companies. The company's mission is to serve as a major cultural resource to the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit.MOT is committed to presenting opera and dance of the highest artistic caliber, and making MOT works accessible to all segments of the population.

Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation's leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 annually. The college's mission encompasses education, enrichment and economic development. The Macomb Center for the Performing Arts (www.MacombCenter.com) is a community enrichment program of the college dedicated to providing a diverse range of cultural experiences, and to inspire and encourage artistic expression through education, performance and volunteer opportunities.

SHOW DETAILS:
"Frida"

Michigan Opera Theatre

Macomb Center for the Performing Arts
2200 N. Squirrel Road, Rochester
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7
2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8

The Berman Center for the Performing Arts
Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit
6600 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield, MI 48322
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21
2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 22

The Detroit Film Theatre
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48202
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 27 (New performance added)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28 (Sold out)

$55-65
313-237-7464
www.michiganopera.org

 

Creative Many Michigan House heads to SXSW Festival

Posted: Feb. 27, 2015 at 11:41 a.m.

DETROIT - "Michigan Made" is heading to Texas. This March during the South by Southwest Music, Film, and Interactive Conference and Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, a collection of Michigan organizations, companies, artists and musicians will form the first Creative Many Michigan House. Partners include ArtPrize, AMI Entertainment, Clark Hill PLC, Creative Many Michigan ( Formerly ArtServe Michigan), Downtown Detroit Part-nership, Masco Corporation Foundation, Meijer, Michigan Film Office, Opportunity Detroit, Start Gar-den and many others.

The Creative Many Michigan House will be a home away from home for the Great Lakes State's hard-earned style and legacy of creativity. Outfitted in an expertly curated collection of Michigan-Made furniture, art and design, the House will serve as the host site for four days of Michigan-centric programming, dialogue, connecting and music.

Spearheaded by Creative Many Michigan and curated by Middle West, the house will be a megaphone with which to spread word of the state’s creativity and ingenuity. “Michigan’s creative and design industries are a powerful driver in our state’s economy, contributing nearly $3.6 billion in wages with more than 74,000 jobs in 9,758 businesses. The house will be a great platform for us to bring visibility to the economic opportunities across Michigan’s creative industries and cultivate growth prospects, resources and networks for creative jobs and business growth,” noted Jennifer Goulet, president and CEO of Creative Many Michigan.

Led by partners from both the east and west side, the Creative Many Michigan House will be a launching pad for some true statewide collaboration. From the excitement surrounding Detroit’s transformation into a high-tech city to the cultural emergence of Grand Rapids to the continuing growth along the lakeshores, it will be an ideal location to tell the state’s many stories.

”The crowd at SXSW is full of highly energetic and creative thinkers, which is exactly the type of crowd we are attracting to Detroit,” said Rock Ventures Vice President Lisa Dancsok. “Taking Opportunity Detroit to a national event like this will continue to charge the momentum Detroit is gaining as growing community of innovators that have chosen Detroit as their home.”

Taking place from March 16-19, the house will be a hive of activity with panel discussions, meet and greets, artist showings and, because it’s during SXSW, a lot of music. ArtPrize will hold live recording sessions at the house. Said Christian Gaines, Executive Director of ArtPrize, “A world-renowned confluence of talented people, innovative companies and emerging ideas, the SXSW is a really effective cross-media platform to reach the entire creative community, and the Michigan House at SXSW is a great vehicle to achieve that end. We’re very excited to be involved.”

“The creative electricity that we see everyday needs to be on display on a stage like SXSW,” said Middle West Co-Creator Ted Velie. “We’ve put on pop-up events around the state in hopes of letting people know the great things being made all around them. It’s time to take that message national.”

For more information visit www.michiganhouse.org and follow @shopmiddlewest on Instagram and Twitter. The Creative Many Michigan House will take place March 16-19 in Austin, Texas.

About Middle West:
Hard-Earned Style - it’s the name we’ve given to the connective thread running through the finest goods made in Michigan. More than any aesthetic similarity, it’s an essential element that says simply, “good work is what we do.” Middle West creates event-driven, expertly curated, pop-up environments of Michigan made products. We create a place that Hard-Earned Style can call home. Visit us at https://www.facebook.com/shopmiddlewest.

About Creative Many Michigan
Creative Many Michigan, formerly ArtServe Michigan, is the statewide economic development organization focused on the mission to develop creative people, creative places and the creative economy for a competitive Michigan. Creative Many Michigan emphasizes the power of creativity through advocacy/public policy, re-search/reporting, professional practice programs, strategic communications and networking for the greater good of the arts, culture and creative and design industries. Visit us at www.creativemany.org.

 

One of the greatest rock 'n' roll jam sessions in history

Million Dollar Quartet
Fisher Theatre
March 6-8, 2015

Posted: March 3, 2015 at 1:49 p.m.

DETROIT - The national tour of the Broadway musical "Million Dollar Quartet", inspired by the electrifying true story, will return to Detroit's Fisher Theatre for a limited four-performance, three-day engagement March 6-8. The international Tony Award-Winning musical, "Million Dollar Quartet" is set on Dec. 4, 1956, when an auspicious twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together. Sam Phillips, the "Father of Rock 'n' Roll" who was responsible for launching the careers of each icon, gathered the four legendary musicians at the Sun Records storefront studio in Memphis for the first and only time. The resulting evening became known as one of the greatest rock 'n' roll jam sessions in history.

"Million Dollar Quartet" brings that legendary night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal, humorous banter, and celebrations, featuring timeless hits including "Blue Suede Shoes," "That's All Right," "Sixteen Tons," "Great Balls of Fire," "I Walk the Line," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "See Ya Later, Alligator," "Fever," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Hound Dog," and more.

The show is directed by Eric Schaeffer and features a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux. The design team includes: Derek McLane (scenic design), Howell Binkley (lighting design), Jane Greenwood (costume design), Kai Harada (sound design) and Chuck Mead (musical arrangements and supervision).

When the Broadway production opened in April 2010, critics and audiences leapt to their feet in unanimous praise. The New York Times called the show, "a buoyant new musical that whips the crowd into a frenzy," New York Magazine labeled it, "a dazzling raucous spectacle that sounds like a million bucks," and NY1 called it, "90 minutes of platinum grade entertainment." The musical continued its successful New York engagement at New World Stages through June 2012.

The longest-running musical production in Chicago's history, "Million Dollar Quartet" opened in 2008 and continues to perform to packed houses at the Apollo Theatre. The West End production played at the Noël Coward Theatre in London in 2011, and a Las Vegas production began performances at Harrah's Showroom in Las Vegas in February 2013.

"Million Dollar Quartet" won a Tony Award for best performance by a featured actor in a musical and received two Tony Award nominations, one for best musical, and one for best book of a musical (Colin Escott & Floyd Mutrux). The show received an Outer Critics Circle Award for outstanding featured actor in a musical, a Drama Desk nomination for outstanding musical revue and three Drama League nominations including distinguished production of a musical and distinguished performance.

"Million Dollar Quartet" is produced by Relevant Theatricals, John Cossette Productions, American Pop Anthology and Broadway Across America, and will play at The Fisher Theatre, 3011 West Grand Blvd, Detroit MI 48202 Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 8.

Tickets ($35-$75) are available now online at broadwayindetroit.com, ticketmaster.com, charge by phone 800-982-2787, the Fisher Theatre box office and all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers. For group sales (12 or more) please email groups@broadwayindetroit.com or call 313-871-1132. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice.

The Broadway In Detroit Series at the Fisher Theatre is sponsored by Chrysler. As part of this sponsorship, the latest and hottest Chrysler vehicles will be on display at the theatre. Follow Broadway in Detroit on Facebook at Facebook.com/BroadwayInDetroit, Twitter @BroadwayDetroit and Instagram @BroadwayInDetroit. For more information on MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET visit their website at www.milliondollarquartetlive.com. For more information on Broadway In Detroit visit www.broadwayindetroit.com

SHOW DETAILS:
"Million Dollar Quartet"

Fisher Theatre
3011 West Grand Blvd, Detroit MI 48202
8 p.m. Friday, Saturday March 6, 7
2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Mach 7, 8
$35-75
800-982-2787
www.broadwayindetroit.com

 

Reimagined 'Doll's House' asks 'How much have things changed?'

A Doll's House
Slipstream Theatre Initiative
March 8 - April 2, 2015

Posted: Feb. 26, 2015 at 10:30 p.m.

FERNDALE, MI - Slipstream Theatre Initiative proudly presents their third show, Henrik Ibsen's classic "A Doll's House." Reimagined from the perspective of a young girl held captive for years with only her dolls and a doll house to play with, this twist on Ibsen's iconic script is sure to challenge your perception of reality. Inspired by the recent discovery of three girls locked in their captor's Cleveland, this production brings to light the original intent of the playwright.

While Ibsen explored 19th century women's roles and rights, Slipstream Theatre Initiative goes a step further to apply his story to our current societal roles and explore the questions: "How much have things changed? And how much do we know about our own abilities to stay or go - in any situation?" Ultimately, the audience gets to decide where the line of predator versus prey actually exists, and which side of the line most resonates with them.

The production is directed by Bailey Boudreau, with technical direction by Alexander Henderson Trice and costume design by Madeleine Hughes. The ensemble cast consists of Richard Payton, Egla Kishta, Luna Alexander, Steve Xander Carson, Daniel Miller, Ryan Ernst, and Kaitlyn Valor Bourque. Each production of the Slipstream season is paired with a different deserving charity. A portion of the proceeds from "A Doll’s House" benefit Lighthouse of Oakland County, which offers housing to people fallen on hard times, originally founded as a shelter for abused women and children.

The play runs March 8 through April 2, Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 7 p.m. Performances are held at the Michigan Actors Studio in Ferndale, MI. Tickets are $10 at the door or pre-ordered at www.SlipstreamTI.com. Slipstream also offers a buy one get one card to every patron.

SHOW DETAILS:
"A Doll's House"

Slipstream Theatre Initiative
Michigan Actors Studio, 648 East Nine Mile, Ferndale Michigan
7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, March 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, April 1, 2
$10
248-298-9617
www.SlipstreamTI.com

 

Theatre Nova presents Michigan premiere of award-winning comedy

Buyer & Cellar
Theatre Nova
March 6-29, 2015

Posted: Feb. 26, 2015 at 1:54 p.m.

ANN ARBOR - Theatre Nova, a new Ann Arbor company that focuses exclusively on new and recent plays, will launch its first season with Jonathan Tolins’ award-winning hit comedy "Buyer & Cellar."

Dexter native Sebastian Gerstner plays Alex More, an out-of-work actor who finds a job in Barbra Streisand’s personal mall (which actually exists) and soon learns a great deal about the distance between who our idols are and who we want them to be. Gerstner, who earned rave reviews in Performance Network’s “Venus in Fur” and “The Glass Menagerie”, also plays Alex’s screenwriter boyfriend, his agent, and Barbra herself, in a tour de force solo performance. Theatre Nova Producing Director Daniel C. Walker is the show's director and production designer, and Artistic Director Carla Milarch is providing sound design.

In its off-Broadway debut, "Buyer & Cellar" was called “Irresistible, delicious, and wickedly funny” (New York Times) and "The funniest comedy of the year" (New York Observer). Reviewers highlighted how Tolins' script finds meaning in Streisand’s coffee table book "My Passion for Design," which details how the star tailored her Malibu estate with a mall in her basement - including separate shops for her doll, vintage costume, and gift collections - to her own exacting standards.

Walker welcomed the challenge of updating the Yellow Barn as an 85-seat theatre, noting that the stage will be almost the same size as that of the original Purple Rose. He added that "Buyer & Cellar" is a "perfect" show for the location: "For nearly half the play, Sebastian is directly interacting with the audience, something that will be quite natural when they are only a few feet away. It has been fun helping Sebastian bring all the different characters to life, and enjoying the magically theatrical transformations that work best in such an intimate space."

The show will run March 6-29 in the Yellow Barn (416 W. Huron, Ann Arbor), a downtown performance space that also hosts musicians and classes. The space has been renovated for Theatre Nova's arrival, and features free parking for patrons as well as quick access to the city's restaurants, bars, bakeries, and coffee shops. New patrons can find it across Huron Street from Ann Arbor's YMCA, through a parking lot entrance on the north side of the street.

Sebastian Gerstner received a BFA in Theater from Michigan State University. He is currently at Oakland University working on his Masters in Elementary Education. Sebastian was most recently seen locally in "Spamalot" (Patsy) at The Encore, "Venus in Fur" (Thomas) at Performance Network Theater, "42nd Street" (Billy) with Ann Arbor in Concert, "Lend Me a Tenor" (Max) at The Encore, and "The Wizard of Oz" (The Tin Man) with Wild Swan Theater.

Daniel C. Walker has worked on over 300 productions at more than 30 theatres (including the majority of past and present professional theatres in southeast Michigan), and in a dozen states. He has been an Artistic Director (Performance Network), chair of a Theatre Department (Albion College), and has taught at seven different colleges and universities.

Carla Milarch is the former Artistic Director of Performance Network Theatre, whose ongoing focus on new plays led her to co-found Theatre Nova. As a dramaturg and director she has helped bring more than 10 brand new plays to fully-staged productions, as well as hundreds to staged readings, including those at the Fireside New Play Festival, the NNPN National Showcase of New Plays, and the Kennedy Center's MFA playwright's showcase.

Theatre Nova, which recently started an Indiegogo campaign to fund the addition of two bathrooms at the Yellow Barn and the first show in its season, has marked all tickets for all performances as pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $20. Members with a donation of $75 or more also receive admission to all six season productions, every show in the New Play Readings series, and children's shows. Patrons can attain memberships by making a donation to the campaign at: Indigogo.

In a unique community partnership with the HIV/Aids Resource Center, Theatre Nova will donate a portion of the show’s proceeds to the center, whose mission is to provide HIV related services to the community through compassionate direct care, prevention and outreach activities.

Theatre Nova is Michigan's only theater exclusively producing new plays. Its mission is to raise awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and playwrights, and provide resources for playwrights to develop their craft by importing, exporting, and developing new work. It seeks to create a sustainable theater for generations to come, built on the cornerstones of accessibility, transparency, artist-leadership, and equality. It is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization. Visit theatrenova.org for more information.

Theatre Nova Ensemble: Carla Milarch - Artistic Director, Daniel C. Walker - Producing Director, David Wells - Associate Artist, Emilio Rodriguez - Literary Manager, Russ Schwartz - Associate Artist and Community Builder, Becky Fox - Children's Theatre Instructor

SHOW DETAILS:
"Buyer & Cellar"

Theatre Nova
The Yellow Barn, 416 W. Huron, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, March 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28
2 p.m. Sunday, March 8, 15, 22, 29
"Pay-what-you-can", suggested donation $20
734-635-8450
Facebook
www.theatrenova.org

 

Making a family decision, finding their own way

Independence
Open Book Theatre
Feb. 27 - March 7, 2015

Posted: Feb. 26, 2015 at 1:40 p.m.

In the small town of Independence, Iowa, Evelyn Briggs might be losing her mind. As her three daughters attempt to come together to make a family decision, each must find their own independence.

A powerful, disturbing study of a family divided against itself. Produced to critical and popular acclaim as part of the Humana Festival of New American Plays of the Actors Theatre of Louisville. “Mr. Blessing writes admirably well timed and weighted dialogue, and the play takes the cleverly invented characters through to a chilling end.” —Plays and Players (England). “Blessing has a hair-trigger sensitivity to what families are saying and doing now, this minute…” —Dallas Times Herald. “…a delicate balance of comic and tragic elements.” —Louisville News American. "Indepence" was nominated for both the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize.

Featuring Dani Cochrane, Wendy Katz Hiller, Krista Schafer Ewbank and Katie Terpstra, directed by Topher Alan Payne. Lighting design by Harley Miah, sound design by Brandy Joe Plambeck, set design by Krista Schafer Ewbank.

All performances are held at Penelope’s Venue, 12219 Dix Toledo Road, Southgate, MI 48195. The performance space is in the back of Penelope's Vintage Resale Shop. The shop and performance space are located on the east side of the road, appx. half way between the main cross streets of Goddard (to the north) and Northline (to the south). Parking: There is a small lot at Penelope’s. You may also park across the street in the lot for the Olympic Grill Coney Island, or park on Netherwood Street just north of Penelope’s.

SHOW DETAILS:
"Independence"

Open Book Theatre
Penelope’s Venue, 12219 Dix Toledo Road, Southgate, MI 48195
8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Feb. 27, 28, march 5, 6, 7
2 p.m. Sunday, March 1
$20 ($15 for students and seniors)
734-288-7753
openbooktheatrecompany.net

 

Satirical comedy about filmmaking set in Ireland

Stones in His Pockets
Performance Network
March 5 - April 5, 2015

Posted: March 3, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.

ANN ARBOR - Performance Network will present the satirical Irish filmmaking comedy “Stones in His Pockets” written by Marie Jones and directed by Artistic Director Suzi Regan. This award-winning comedy features Andrew Huff and Wayne David Parker who meet when working as extras on a big American movie being shot in Ireland. Charlie's video shop in Ballycastle has gone bankrupt and Jake has returned to Kerry after a futile few years in the US. The movie is a wonderful break from worrying about their futures, until the harsh realities of rural life break through.

A recent three-time Tony Award nominee, "Stones in His Pockets" won the Irish Times/ESB Irish Theatre Award for best production and two Olivier Awards: best new comedy and best actor. "This play is a great adventure," said Regan. "It's really impressive to see the two actors portray a total of 15 characters between them, and I think people will enjoy the hilarity of the script. It’s a lot of fun."

Coproduced by Detroit sports and entertainment executive, Tom Wilson, the design team includes set design by John Manfredi, lighting design by Daniel C. Walker, costume design by Suzanne Young, properties design by Jen Maiseloff, and sound design by Julia Garlotte. Phill Harmer is the technical director and stage manager, with Eric Hohnke as assistant stage manager.

SHOW DETAILS:
"Stones in his Pockets"

Performance Network Theatre
120 E Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48105
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, 12, 19, 26, April 2
8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, March 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, April 3, 4
3 p.m. Saturday, March 7, 14, 21, 28, April 4
2 p.m. Sunday, March 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5
$25-41
734-663-0681
www.pntheatre.org

 

OTHER VOICES - NEWS & PREVIEWS: Feb. 24, 2015

Theatre Nova announces its inaugural season lineup for 2015 - Mlive.com (Feb. 19, 2015)

Ibsen's 'Enemy' retains relevance in modern world - Detroit News (Feb. 18, 2015)

RoboCop is back — this time singing and dancing - Detroit Free Press (Feb. 17, 2015)

 

Immersive experience showcases unsung women artists

The Modern Woman
A Host of People
Feb. 27 - March 8, 2015

Posted: Feb. 21, 2015 at 1:23 p.m.

DETROIT - Theater ensemble A Host of People presents the world premiere performances of "The Modern Woman" Feb. 27-March 8, conceived and directed by Sherrine Azab & Jake Hooker, created in collaboration with performers Marisa Deluge, Corinne Donly, Kristi Faulkner, Karilú Forshee, Torri Lynn Frances, Katie Galazka, Molly McMahon, Samantha Moltmaker, Ryan Myers Johnson & Emily Roll; visual artists Christina de Roos, Sarah Mark, Dain Mergenthaler & Alexander Weyer; musicians Thomas Bell, James Cornish, and the band River Spirit.

A Host of People presents a performance that showcases the work, lives, and passions of important but sometimes unsung women artists of the last 100 years. "The Modern Woman" is an immersive experience set in a home, where every room corresponds to a different decade between the 1910s and the 2010s and is inhabited by different women artists, past and present. During the course of the piece, the audience will see new work inspired by such artists as Emmy Hennings, Katherine Dunham, Maya Deren, and Yvonne Rainer, among many others. Through looking at these modern women, A Host of People seeks to put a renewed focus on women who push the envelope in their work, in both content and form, and the contributions females have made and continue to make, socially and artistically.

"The Modern Woman" will open on Feb. 27 and will run every night (except Monday, March 2) until closing on Sunday March 8 - International Women’s Day. All performances will be at 7:30 p.m. and performed at 256 West Grand Blvd. Tickets are $15 (includes drinks and snacks) and available to reserve or buy at www.ahostofpeople.org.

Reservations are strongly recommended as seating is extremely limited. Press is invited and encouraged to attend the first performances. Additionally, there will be a special $20 event on Thursday March 5 featuring musicians from Seraphine Collective that will kick off at 7:30 p.m., followed by the performance of "The Modern Woman" at approximately 8:30 p.m. Seraphine Collective is an inclusive, supportive and active community of female musicians designed to foster creative expression and camaraderie among feminists in Detroit.

A Host of People is a Detroit based theater company focused on the creation of devised, original, multidisciplinary theater. The company is made up of co-directors Sherrine Azab and Jake Hooker and, thankfully, a host of people. Their artistic work has lived everywhere from a storefront window near Times Square in New York to a disused hair salon in Berlin, their own home, community gardens, and traditional performance spaces like On the Boards (Seattle), The Kitchen (NYC), HERE Arts Center (NY), Dixon Place (NYC), The Bushwick Starr (NYC), The Chocolate Factory (NYC), ArtLabJ (Detroit), and Detroit Contemporary.

In addition to producing 12 devised shows a year, we curate two programs: "Performance, Potluck and Punch (3P)" and "The Kreative Kool Aid." "3P" is a winter series that pairs two short contemporary performances in our home and invites our neighbors for the price of a dish to share. "The Kreative KoolAid" provides a space for collective learning, gathering together Detroit arts organizations to participate in national conversations, online summits and webinars important to the cultural sector and the “creative economy.” After the event we pose the question “did we drink that KoolAid?”

A Host of People is also a Detroit Knight Arts Challenge Award winner for their upcoming show The Harrowing, a piece that will tour community gardens in Detroit premiering in August 2015. A Host of People locates our work around the idea that “alternative,” or “experimental” art making is not the elitist practice it is so often made out to be, but inherently populist. A Host of People strives to offer work that gives the viewer agency in their interpretation, as we work to entertain. We invite our audience into our art as we would guests into our home, whether it is in our house, on the street, in a gallery or in a theater.

SHOW DETAILS:
"The Modern Woman"

A Host of People
256 West Grand Blvd.

Detroit, MI 48216
7:30 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday, Feb. 27, 28, March 1, 3, 4, 5*, 6, 7, 8
*Special event featuring a pre-show set by Seraphine Collective on Thursday March 5th at 7:30 p.m.; "The Modern Woman" to follow.
$15
313-649-7632
Facebook page
www.ahostofpeople.org

 

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