TIDBITS: Professional Theater News from Around Town
BoarsHead offers holiday cheer to youths at St. Vincent Home
LANSING – The BoarsHead Theater is collecting new toys and gifts for the children at the St. Vincent Home in Lansing.
Unwrapped gifts may be brought to the theater during regular business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) or to any performance through December 18.
Holiday gifts for children ages 5-17 can be deposited in the decorated box located in the theater lobby. Gifts of new boy’s teen clothing should be adult sized large.
For information, please contact Katie Doyle or CJ Ludwick at 517-484-7800.
‘Children’s Letters to God’ at Music Hall to be rescheduled
DETROIT – “Children’s Letters to God,” originally scheduled at Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Dec. 3, will be rescheduled to a date in the fall of 2006.
Refunds are available at point of purchase.
For more information contact the Music Hall Box Office at 313-887-8501.
Breathe Art Theatre Project and Capitol Theatre announce partnership
WINDSOR, ONTARIO – Breathe Art Theatre Project and the Capitol Theatre announce a partnership to bring Breathe Art’s production of Stephen Belber’s high-stakes drama, “Tape,” to the Windsor stage.
The production will move to the Capitol stage after its recent successful run at Detroit’s 1515 Broadway for two performances only, on Friday., Jan. 20 and Saturday., Jan. 21, 2006. Tickets are on sale now.
Directed by Demetri Vacratsis, “Tape” examines motives of memory, perception and truth. On the eve of his new film being shown at a festival in Lansing, Michigan, Jon hooks up with Vince, his best friend from high school, who has come from California to show his support. During the course of the evening, a verbal warfare ensues over Amy, the girl they both once dated. As their friendship hangs on by a thread, Vince reveals that he has invited Amy to join them for dinner.
Breathe Art Theatre Project is committed to the principle of contemporary programming through the collaboration of Windsor/Detroit actors, directors and designers. Its mission is to advance the spirit of contemporary social theatre by nurturing and supporting artists, encouraging repeatable creative relationships and offering a skilled environment for established and developing artists from the Windsor/Detroit community. Breathe Art is dedicated to perpetuating an ethic of mutual respect within our communities and across our borders.
The Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre is located at 121 University Ave. in Windsor.
Tickets are $18.
For tickets or information, call 519-253-7729.
Clegg and Ross join Icarus Falling ensemble
LANSING – Lamont Clegg and Allan Ross have become the newest members of Lansing-based theatre ensemble, Icarus Falling (IF). Both join IF fresh from the production of “Sex”, which Clegg directed and in which Ross played the role of Jimmy Stanton.
Clegg, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre and sociology from Wake Forest University, has been active in the local theatre community for the past 10 years. Following a five year stint on the faculty/staff of the Michigan State University Department of Theatre, Clegg is currently education director for the BoarsHead Theater. He has been seen on the IF stage in “The Elsinore Follies,” heard in “Talk Radio,” and directed the ensemble’s most recent production – “Sex” by Mae West.
Ross is a recent graduate of Michigan State University and is a freelance writer. He first appeared with IF in “Howya Doin Frankie Banana?”. He then went on to appear as the drug dealing Jinkie in the world premiere of “Lake of Fire” and most recently appeared as the naive socialite who falls in love with a prostitute in “Sex.” Allan will next appear in IF’s production of “Truculentus” this coming February.
“Both are fine actors and great additions to the ensemble,” said IF Artistic Director jeff croff. “The key to an ensemble is a group of people with a strong commitment to the same goal, and these two have proven over and over their dedication to challenging themselves and audiences. Alan’s passion comes through with every role, while Lamont’s experience provides an amazing depth for our organization both as an actor and as a director. We look forward to their continuing contributions to challenging and dynamic theatre.”
From Our Hallowed Halls of Learning:
WSU’s Black Theatre Program celebrates life of Rosa Parks
DETROIT – The 35th season of Wayne State University’s Black Theatre Program is producing “Buses,” by native Detroiter Denise Nicholas, as its touring show for the 2005-2006 season. This play celebrates the lives of two women, Rosa Parks and Mary Ellen Pleasant, whose simple yet influential actions changed history.
Written for grades 9-12, “Buses” is a story about a fictional encounter between two women who have both been respectfully identified as the “Mother of Civil Rights” in the United States. It is set at “a bus stop in a dream” where Nicholas’ play intersects Parks, the 1960s civil rights pioneer, with Pleasant, an affluent African-American madam from 1860s San Francisco who was also disrespectfully dismissed from public transportation. In “Buses,” the women are mysteriously thrown together in an effort to clarify and correct history.
Nicholas is a graduate of the University of Michigan and an award-winning actress and writer. She was acknowledged as the Harvard Foundation’s Cultural Artist of the year in 1995 for her contributions to American arts and intercultural relations. She wrote “Buses” in 1988 and performed the role of Rosa Parks in the University of Southern California’s production.
She did not write “Buses” to praise Mrs. Parks yet again for her monumental protest, but rather to acknowledge that there is more to every life than one single event, even if one event is what you have been memorialized for.
“‘Buses’ is not a chronicle of her life. I humbly leave that to the historical biographers. I wanted to imagine her inner life, her dreams, realities, awakenings,” Nicholas said.
Direction is provided by Ph.D. candidate Maria-Tania Becerra, an instructor of Black Dramatic Literature in WSU’s Department of Theatre. The production will showcase two casts: Romona Lucius (Rosa) and Jaazmine Parker (Mary); and Alaina Fleming (Rosa) and Toni V. Walker (Mary).
The troupe will travel on Wednesday mornings from Jan. 11-April 26, 2006. Tours include Detroit-area public and private high schools for a fee of $350; an additional $50 is added for traveling fees if the institution is outside the city of Detroit.
To make a reservation or request further information, please call Nicole Young at 313-577-6798 or visit http://www.theatre.wayne.edu.
OU production of ‘Urinetown’ closes this weekend
ROCHESTER HILLS – This weekend will see the final performances of “Urinetown” at Oakland University, one of the first universities in the country to obtain the rights to perform the hit Broadway musical.
The residents of Urinetown are faced with the reality that due to a drought, private toilets are outlawed. Now public pay-toilets are their only option and are controlled by an unscrupulous company. In the midst of crisis and class struggle, romance blooms in a musical that keeps it out of the gutter while managing to pull off a hilariously good time.
“‘Urinetown’ is very funny and very smart,” said director Michael Gillespie. “On the one hand, it’s a kind of “Where’s Waldo” for musical theatre lovers who can recognize bits and pieces of their favorite musicals being stolen, spoofed and skewered throughout the show. On the other hand it wraps the bitter pill of social commentary in the sugar coating of humor in the great tradition of theatrical comedy.”
Savvy theater-goers will recognize parodies of other well known musicals such as “Sweeney Todd” and “Les Miserables” in the score of “Urinetown.”
“Urinetown runs Thu.-Sun. through Dec. 4 in the Varner Studio Theatre on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester. For more information please contact the Varner Box Office at (248) 370-3013 or log on to http://www2.oakland.edu/mtd.
Community Theatre Corner:
Enjoy a holiday breakfast with Santa
ROYAL OAK – Stagecrafters’ Youth Theatre is hostingits Fourth Annual Breakfast with Santa at the Baldwin Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 9 a.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 11 a.m.
This special event will feature a breakfast, caroling, a special family ornament, and of course, a visit and photo with Santa Claus.
Tickets are $5/child, $8/adult or $18/family (children with primary caregivers). Seating is limited.
Stagecrafters is located at the beautiful Baldwin Theatre, 415 S. Lafayette Ave, in Royal Oak. Proceeds will benefit Stagecrafters’ Youth Theatre programs.
For reservations or information, call 248-541-6430.
Groups partner to provide holiday gift for Lansing
LANSING – Sunsets with Shakespeare announced recently it would partner with Gone Wired CafE and the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing to produce a holiday gift for the community on December 10 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. The event will be a caroling party on Lansing’s east side.
“We are very eager to continue partnerships and build new relationships with the community,” says Sunsets with Shakespeare’s Artistic Director Todd A. Heywood. “This caroling event is a perfect way to say thank you to the community and build bridges.”
The event will start at Gone Wired CafE on Michigan Ave. At 6:15 pm, all those who have gathered will set out onto Lansing’s east side to sing holiday songs to the neighbors and invite them to join in the caroling. The event will conclude at Gone Wired CafE with a sing-a-long.
For more information call the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing at 517-372-9163 or email SunsetsTheater@aol.com or the Women’s Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.