Encore Michigan

Planet Ant announces new season–Bourque named Artistic Director

News August 07, 2019 David Kiley

HAMTRAMCK, Mich.–This September, Planet Ant launches a new season in its original Black Box Theater with a redesign of both the physical space itself and overall production model, in which the Theatrical Season and Sketch Comedy Series operate under the Direction of Kaitlyn Bourque (Artistic Director) and Shawn Handlon (Creative Director of Sketch Program).

Kaitlyn Valor Bourque

Reflecting Planet Ant’s mission to establish a self-sustaining creative arts hub that comprehensively represents the current community, a new artistic director will be appointed at the end of every season to reimagine the Black Box theatrical landscape.

Included in the ’19/’20 season are: three world premieres from local playwrights Margaret Edwartowski, Maxim Vinogradov, and Julia Lynn Marsh; an original modernization of a Shakespearean comedy, As They Like It, adapted and directed by Jared Scott Morin; and an original one-act from BoxFest Detroit 2019 Audience Voted Best Director (TBA). Additional productions will be announced later in the season.

Designed by Bourque as acting Artistic Director, the year focuses on representation. A return to roots and radical leap toward the future, the 2019/2020 Season reflects the vast and varied community Planet Ant Theatre; acknowledging a 25-year history and the innovation and creativity that has emerged throughout, while simultaneously creating more open and malleable space for a budding generation of creative voices.

Productions are selected with consideration for upholding a policy of intentional inclusivity in casting – some chosen specifically for their unique perspective on race and gender identity, some with deliberate intent to disrupt the modern theatrical (and social) canon.

The season kicks off in September with Real Companion: a world premiere from local playwright and co-founder of the Planet Ant Improv Colony Home Team, Margaret Edwartowski; and will be directed by founder of Black and Brown Theatre and Kresge Arts Detroit 2018 Literary Arts Fellow, Emilio Rodriguez.

“I’m thrilled to be producing a new play at Planet Ant and I’m super excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with Emilio Rodriguez,” says playwright Edwartowski. “Both as a board member and an artist, I’m very thankful to have been involved at Planet Ant for twenty years: a place that champions new works and gives artists opportunities to showcase their own work; to grow and innovate; to meet and collaborate with other artists in the community.”

“I am so excited to work with Planet Ant Theatre and take part in their dedication to bringing current and relevant plays to Southeast Michigan audiences,” says director Rodriguez. “I’m honored to be part of the team opening this season.”

Real Companion opens with a pay-what-you-can final dress rehearsal on Thursday, September 12th, and runs through September 29th in the Planet Ant Black Box in Hamtramck, MI. Tickets are $20 at the door, with half-off opening night and discounted online pre-sales at planetant.com.

Under the purview of Creative Director Handlon, the new Planet Ant Sketch Program will build upon the momentum created by an exciting new generation of performers in the Planet Ant creative community. Featuring new Friday and Saturday late-night improv-and-sketch-comedy shows in the Black Box, and continuing to expand Thursday Night Live: a weekly variety show in the Ant Hall established in 2018, currently heading into its second season with a fresh new cast featuring the 2019/2020 Planet Ant Farm Team. Incorporating the wealth of talent from Planet Ant’s writing colony, sketches and fully-scripted comedy shows will be developed and produced regularly throughout the season.

Thursday Night Live runs every Thursday at 8pm at the Ant Hall in Hamtamck, MI. Cost of admission is $5 online at planetant.com and $8 at the door; the first Thursday of every month is free for students. Karaoke Night at the the attached Ghost Light Bar follows the show every Thursday night. The new Friday and Saturday late-night Black Box comedy shows are currently in development, with plans to launch in mid-September.

Information about and tickets for all upcoming events throughout Planet Ant’s performance venues can be found at planetant.com and on social media (@planetantdet on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

Week of 9/25/2023

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