TIDBITS: Professional Theater News from Around Town
Performance Network’s annual campaign appeals to community
ANN ARBOR – Performance Network, Ann Arbor’s professional theatre and community arts organization, announced earlier this season its most ambitious annual campaign goal ever: $150,000. The funds are needed to offset cuts in Michigan state funding, corporate sponsorship and individual donations.
As of December 14, only $54,000 has been raised; another $96,000 is needed by the end of January, to avoid cuts to programs.
Besides its award-winning professional series, the Network also offers an extensive selection of outreach programs, including: The Children’s Theatre Network and Saturday Matinee Series, a touring children’s theatre program that includes mime, African storytelling, puppetry, magic and a bilingual children’s musical; acting workshops for children and teens facilitated by the Children’s Theatre Network; a summer internship program that provides hands-on training for high school students; and an apprentice program that offers on-the-job training to college graduates.
In addition, the network also partners with numerous community organizations to bring theater and theater education to underserved adults and children. “When you support Performance Network, you bring the magic of live theatre to a teen, a child, a student, a low-income senior or an impoverished actor somewhere in our community,” said Carla Milarch, the Network’s executive artistic director “The joy they experience and the gratitude they express when taking part in our free and discounted programs, is immeasurable. I can’t imagine living in a community where those people could not participate in the experience of live theatre, because I’ve seen it change people’s lives.”
Performance Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on ticket sales for only 60% of its annual budget. The other 40% must be raised through a combination of grants, sponsorships and individual donations.
The fundraising deadline has been extended to January 31, 2006.
Donations can be sent to: Performance Network, 120 East Huron, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104. Online donations are accepted at: http://www.performancenetwork.org. All donations are tax-deductible.
For more information, contact Performance Network at 734-663-0696.
Motoprism’s ‘Reality Buffet’ goes prime time at Improv Inferno
ANN ARBOR — “The Reality Buffet,” the long-running Sunday hit at Improv Inferno staged by the improv troupe Motoprism, is moving into prime time for January and February, playing Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
“The Reality Buffet” serves up a series of very short, interactive plays based on the lives and experiences of the cast. Each two-to-three minute play is selected by the audience in random order, keeping the actors at the top of their game for the hour-long performance. The different plays range from comedic & topical to dramatic & experimental. To keep the show current, after each performance three-to-five plays are retired and replaced with new material, producing an entirely new show about every six-to-10 weeks.
“The Reality Buffet” takes on a form that has been perfected by Chicago’s Neo-Futurists, whose production, “Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind,” is currently in its sixteenth season. “After seeing the Neo-Futurists a few times, I was encouraged to try something similar here,” said Motoprism’s Founding Artistic Director Mark Mikula. “I really appreciated the honesty of the pieces that they performed – work about themselves filtered through an artistic view. Our show is unique to our point of view as residents of metro Detroit. It’s inspiring for us to make discoveries about ourselves and we hope it will do the same for our audiences.”
For his cast, Mikula chose actors from the area’s growing improv community. The cast includes Lauren Bickers, Elana Elyce, Pete Jacokes, Pj Jacokes, Mike McGettigan, Mark Mikula, Scott Myers, and Mark Sobolewski.
Improv Inferno Artistic Director Dan Izzo said, “‘The Reality Buffet’ is a really great show. It’s smart, it’s funny and it’s truthful. While it’s a blend of comedy and serious material, I think the attitude and energy of the show will be familiar to anyone who’s seen any of our shows at Improv Inferno. Once you see this show you can’t help but like it.”
“The Reality Buffet” play every Friday and Saturday in January and February at 8 p.m. at Improv Inferno, 309 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor. Tickets are $10. For reservations or information call 734-214-7080 or visit http://www.improvinferno.com More information is also available at http://www.motoprism.com.
Matrix Theatre Company founder honored by Wayne County Commissioners
DETROIT – Dr. Shaun S. Nethercott, founder and executive director of Matrix Theatre Company, recently received the Commissioners Award at the Eighth Annual Recognition Awards for Wayne County Arts and Culture.
Dr. Nethercott was honored for providing Detroit youth with a positive environment, self-development and community responsibility this past summer through Matrix’s Summer Theatre Camp for youth ages eight-18.
Congratulations, Dr. Nethercott, for your continuing service to the youth and adults of Detroit!
For more information about Matrix Theatre Company, call 313-967-0999 or visit http://www.matrixtheatre.org.
Alexander, who’s not, not, not, not, not, not going to move, is definitely coming to Macomb Center
CLINTON TWP – The Macomb Center for the Performing Arts welcomes the Kennedy Center IMAGINATION CELEBRATION on Tour for presentations of the musical, “Alexander, Who’s Not, Not, Not, Not, Not, Not Going to Move!” on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006 at both 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Specially adapted by author Judith Viorst, with music by Shelly Markham, the feisty and lovable character from the Alexander book series is facing his biggest challenge ever: moving – as he puts it, “a thousand miles away!”
With his father starting a new job, everyone is packing except Alexander, who decides he’s staying right where he is. He can’t bear the thought of having to leave everything behind – his best friend, Paul, his super babysitter, his soccer team, his car pool and well – EVERYTHING. So here is what he decides to do: He is NOT going to move.
The result is a fun-filled family musical that shouldn’t be missed!
Tickets are $10. For complete information call the Macomb Center’s box office at 586-286-2222 or log on to http://www.MacombCenter.com.