Encore Michigan

Penny Seats moves to Cahoots in A2

News February 08, 2024 David Kiley

ANN ARBOR. MI–The Penny Seats Theatre Company has joined forces with Cahoots, a co-working space located in downtown Ann Arbor, to bring additional professional theater offerings to downtown
throughout 2024 and, they hope, into the future.

The companies announced today that The Penny Seats will take up residence at Cahoots, performing the entirety of its upcoming mainstage season at Cahoots’ recently renovated building on the corner of Huron Street and Fourth Avenue in downtown Ann Arbor. The theater will occupy Cahoots’ Event Venue, which opens to the Fourth Street side of the building. The venue, which boasts an accessible stage and flexible seating, will host 3-week runs of each Penny Seats show, and will also serve as home for the
company’s rehearsals, auditions, and various administrative operations as well.

“In many ways, this partnership is one we’ve dreamed of,” said Lauren London, The Penny
Seats’ Executive Director. “Although we loved being at the beautiful Stone Chalet on
Washtenaw Avenue, we’ve longed to return to downtown Ann Arbor. But downtown rental and
operational costs at marquee properties are often prohibitive for small, non-profit companies like
ours, so it’s hard to make the jump. Cahoots offers us the opportunity to finally do that, and to
bring walkable, dinner-and-a-show evenings back to downtown Ann Arbor. We hope to create a
warm, welcoming atmosphere that makes for a fabulous night of theater, and introduces patrons
to the world-class environment Cahoots has built here. We couldn’t be more grateful and excited
to begin this partnership.”

The Penny Seats 2024 season is the first for its new Artistic Director, Julia Garlotte. Although
new to the role, Garlotte has worked with The Penny Seats for the past six years, and is excited
for the possibilities at Cahoots. “The Penny Seats’ move into a new indoor home for my first
season as Artistic Director is very exciting. We pride ourselves on our agile, flexible creativity as
a company, and I know Cahoots does too. Getting the chance to call their beautiful space our
home is a terrific opportunity for us to demonstrate who we are. I’m so looking forward to seeing
what we and Cahoots can do together this year!” Cahoots Executive Director Chelsea Hohn
echoed Garlotte’s excitement. “We’re thrilled to have the Penny Seats Theater company continue
to grow here at Cahoots, and happy to host and support such a vibrant part of our arts community
in Ann Arbor!”

The Penny Seats will stage all three of its mainstage shows at Cahoots in 2024. They are:
Beehive: The 60’s Musical, by Larry Gallagher, performing August 8-24; Usher, by John
Sousanis, performing October 10-26; and The Men of Sherwood, by Joseph Zettelmaier,
performing November 22-December 8. The lineup includes The Penny Seats’ summer musical, which has in the past been performed outside in Ann Arbor city parks. Bringing the summer show indoors will be yet another first for the group.

“It’s a big change, to be sure,” says London. “We’ve loved staging summer theater in the park; it
can be magical, and the City of Ann Arbor is second-to-none when it comes to park stewardship
and recreation. But we’ve heard more and more that our patrons are craving a comfortable,
climate-controlled experience in the summer, and moving inside this year will ensure we don’t
endure cancellations due to rain, wind, heat, or other factors. It’s an experiment in comfort, one
that provides added opportunities to experience all that downtown Ann Arbor has to offer. We
hope our patrons will enjoy the summer musical at Cahoots this year!”

Tickets to all Penny Seats shows will be available on the Penny Seats website,
www.pennyseats.org, beginning 30 days before each show. Cahoots is located at 206 E. Huron
St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

Week of 7/15/2024

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