Photo: Chelcea Stowers
A Very Golden Girls Christmas, Vol. 2.' (Left to right) Brandy Joe Plambeck (as Rose), Joe Bailey (as Dorothy), Richard Payton (as Blanche). Photo: Jordan Gagnon
Theater lovers, get out your calendars. Live entertainment is back in full swing at Ferndale’s The Ringwald Theatre, which
will feature all-new shows, a musical and a holiday performance during its 2022/2023 season.
Since moving their physical location to Affirmations LGBTQ+ community center in the midst of the pandemic last year, The Ringwald’s Artistic Director Joe Bailey says the team at Affirmations has been “great” help with the transition.
“The folks at Affirmations have been so welcoming and accommodating,” Bailey tells Pride Source. “It’s turning out to be a great partnership that’s going to get stronger as we go.”
The Ringwald started their renovations for the residency last year, and according to Bailey, although navigating around COVID has been “interesting,” he counts the current season as a success.
“It’s just a matter of trying to keep everyone safe and comfortable,” he says. “Luckily, we’ve had a pretty smooth transition. We require weekly testing of the cast and crew when we’re in show mode. Currently, the audience must be masked and show proof of vaccination before they can come into the space.”
Not much has changed regarding audience size, either. Seats are still filling up and the capacity of the space is still being met, Bailey says.
Bailey says he’s “super excited for the next season” and the variety of entertainment that they’re offering. “I’m excited to do ‘Misery,’” he says. “During the pandemic, we filmed a ‘Misery’ parody, so it’ll be fun to do the OG ‘Misery.' I’m excited to do ‘Assassins,’ the Stephen Sondheim musical as well; I think it’s going to work well in our space. And I’m also really excited to do ‘The Inheritance,’ which is a two-part play that just won the Tony Award for best play.”
The Ringwald is also working on “A Wet, Hot Golden Girls Summer,” an original play the group plans to premiere in 2023. “‘The Golden Girls’ have been very good to us over the years,” Bailey says with a chuckle. “We just did our ‘A Very Golden Girls Christmas, Vol. 2’ over this past holiday season, which did extremely well. So, we can’t wait to write that 2023 play.”
While Bailey is ready and enthusiastic to share this upcoming season, he says it did take “a lot of leg work” to see it through and organize.
“We have developed a sort of reputation and following over the past 15 years,” he says. “Our current slogan is sort of ‘theater without restriction,’ so [we] like to do things that are unexpected, or have men in dresses every once in a while and, of course, we like to do parodies. The summer shows are reserved for those. We just like to also give people things that they’ve never seen before.”
Bailey tells Pride Source that his process for considering shows begins in January, when he likes to "see what other people are doing out there.”
Auditions for the 2022/2023 season take place Wednesday, June 8 and Saturday, June 11 inside Affirmations at 290 W. 9 Mile Road in Ferndale. A sign-up sheet and more information will be available soon. Follow their social media for more details.To donate to The Ringwald Theatre’s commitment “to creating an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment for any and all,” go to their website. The Ringwald 2022/2023 Season: Aug. 26-Sept. 12
“Plot Points in Our Sexual Development”
by Miranda Rose Hall
Directed by Asia HicksOct. 7-31
by William Goldman, based on the novel by Stephen King
Directed by Brandy Joe PlambeckDec. 2-19
by Matthew Lombardo
Directed by Suzan M. JacokesFeb. 24-March 27, 2o23
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by John Weidman
Directed by Matthew James WallaceMay 5-June 19, 2023
“The Inheritance” (Parts 1 and 2)
By Matthew Lopez, inspired by the novel Howards End by E.M. Forster
Directed by Joe BaileySummer 2023
“A Wet, Hot Golden Girls Summer”