Encore Michigan

Parallel 45 Theatre announces new venue, ninth season

Season Announcement February 18, 2019

TRAVERSE CITY—Traverse City is now home to a state-of-the-art, outdoor performance venue showcasing northwest Michigan’s only professional summer repertory theater. The collaboration between Parallel 45 Theatre, Grand Traverse County Parks & Recreation, and Cornerstone Architects will create a permanent home for Parallel 45 Theatre’s summer programming in Traverse City’s Civic Center Park.

The professional theater company will produce a 4-week season (July 11 – Aug. 4) featuring three wildly different shows that alternate performances daily. Audiences can see a brand-new musical one day and return the next to see an entirely different play in the exact same space.

The 2019 season will generate innovative theater giving familiar stories the signature P45 twist. The company’s ninth season will open with the ground-breaking musical Hair, the American tribal love-rock musical, with era-defining rock anthems and pointed comparisons to modern times; an imaginative new play by Anne Washburn, with music by Dave Malloy, Little Bunny Foo Foo, based on the classic children’s song; and Stupid F**king Bird, an uber-contemporary remix of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, offering a fresh and hilarious take on this 1896 Russian classic about the universal longing for love and significance.

“My career has been dedicated to directing and producing work that approaches classic plays from a searing, contemporary perspective. We’re all thirsty for new, fresh, bold ways to look at the world. And our audience proves that people aren’t interested in rusty theatre relics honoring the past without thought. They want to know why. Why this story, why today? P45 provides a welcoming space to ask those hard questions,” says Parallel 45
Artistic Director Kit McKay.

Hair, directed by Parallel 45 Artistic Director Kit McKay, dissects an era when the thrill of rebellion became a powerful force against intolerance, subjugation and war. Celebrated as one of the most popular shows around the globe, Hair brought the 60s counter cultural revolution to a mass audience. This production will draw a pointed comparison to our current socio- political atmosphere set to the beloved soundtrack of a generation. Music Direction by Joanna Li (PlayMakers Repertory Company). Choreographed by Jennifer Lott and Brent Whitney of The Traverse City Dance Project.

Little Bunny Foo Foo: A brand-new play with music based on the classic children’s song “Little Bunny Foo Foo hoppin’ through the forest…,” written by Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play) and featuring the music of Tony-nominated composer Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812). This playful production showcases “a saucy bunny who just can’t stop boppin’ all the field mice on the head” to the delight of children (4+) and their adults. Directed by Katherine M. Carter (Westport Country Playhouse, Houston Grand Opera), with Music Direction by Joanna Li (PlayMakers Repertory Company).

Stupid F**king Bird: In this ferociously funny Twitter-age remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, author Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, tradition and revolution. Torrid love triangles, philosophical war-waging, and foot-stomping hilarity will inspire raucous delight. Directed by Matthew Gutschick (The Rose Theater, Omaha), this production features Wilde award-winner David Montee (The Purple Rose Theatre) appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association.”We are thrilled to open a state-of-the-art outdoor performance space in the extraordinary beauty of northwest Michigan. We believe this new venue signifies great things for our area. Traverse City isn’t just a top-ranking recreational and culinary spot, but a cultural destination as rich and diverse as any major metropolitan area. We aim to prove you can have it all; you can enjoy cutting-edge culture without leaving paradise,” says Parallel 45 Theatre Artistic Director Kit McKay.

TICKET INFORMATION: Purchase tickets at PARALLEL45.org, by calling 1-800-836-0717, or visit the MyNorth Box Office in Traverse City.

ABOUT PARALLEL 45 THEATRE: Since 2010, Parallel 45 Theatre has invited more than 100 professional artists to create groundbreaking shows for the northwest Michigan region. In 2017, Parallel 45 Theatre’s production of Alice in Wonderland was nominated for a Wilde Award, which honors the best work by professional theaters across the state of Michigan. In 2018, Parallel 45 was selected as a finalist for an Impact 100 TC grant and was awarded an “Asset for Thriving Communities” grant from Rotary Charities of Traverse City.

Week of 11/27/2023

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