The Penny Seats are Set to Present The World Premier of Joseph Zettelmaier’s
The Renaissance Man at West Park



ANN ARBOR - The Penny Seats Theatre Company is thrilled to announce that its seventh summer season this year will open on Thursday, June 15th with The Renaissance Man, a World Premier from renowned Michigan playwright, Joseph Zettelmaier.  The story is comedic riff on Macbeth set in the modern day at a local Renaissance Faire.  It joyfully follows the lives of workers at the Faire, asking whether a disgruntled knight can—or should—take the Faire back to its Renaissance roots. Zettelmaier’s work retains fundamental elements of Shakespeare’s play, while exploring just how funny the story can be in context. 



The show will star Pat Loos in the role of Martin Mackabee, (the knight who would be king), along with Kelly Rose Voigt, Ann Dilworth, Julia Garlotte, David Galido, and Robert Schorr.   The group will perform at Ann Arbor’s West Park, in the band shell area, The Penny Seats’ habitual summer home.  Performances are June 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, and July 1. All shows are at 7:00pm.  More information, and advance tickets (available at a discount), are available at www.pennyseats.org or by phone at (734) 926-5346.  Door tickets will also be available.  (Due to some strong language, the show is not appropriate for kids under 13.)



“This show gives us the rare opportunity bring Renaissance Faire elements into our very own West Park,” says Penny Seats Executive Director Lauren London.  “The lively, loud, grubby, intimate, and adventurous elements of the Faire are all here, as are the magnificent costumes.  It’s a perfect play for our setting, and we’re relishing the chance to work with Joe to bring the full show to audiences for the first time.”  Of his inspiration for The Renaissance Man, Zettelmaier notes, “I wanted to find a way to honor the power struggle, the madness, and the supernatural elements of the show...to set them in a modern setting without losing the primal, ancient feel of it. I have a deep love of Renaissance Faires, so it seemed like a perfect fit. And if you're going to put the show in a Renaissance Faire, the comedic potential became obvious.”



The Renaissance Man is the first of The Penny Seats’ two-show summer season.  The season continues in July with Peter and the Starcatcher, by Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, directed by Phil Simmons. Peter and the Starcatcher is a clever prequel to J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan story, where cast members switch in and out of roles constantly, becoming part of the piratical world they weave, and creating magic along the way.  Starcatcher performs at West Park on July 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29.  Curtain time for Starcatcher will be at 8:00pm.



Join in the fun of our SOLD-OUT Summer Preview event, and support us as we launch our seventh season.  BIDDING IS NOW OPEN FOR THE ITEMS IN OUR SILENT AUCTION, AND YOU NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN! 


CLICK HERE TO BID on the fabulous variety of gifts, tickets, and experiences available at our Silent Auction!  

Bidding closes at 8:00pm on Friday, May 26th.






...and more!


This year, our summer offerings are The Renaissance Man, a World Premier written and directed by Joseph Zettelmaier, and Peter and the Starcatcher, by Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, directed by Phil Simmons. Read more about them here!


Summer 2017 Cast Lists

We are exceedingly excited to announce the wonderful casts that will join us for the summer! Thank you so much to everyone who came out for our general auditions and callbacks; the talent that we saw was outstanding and we are so grateful to all of you.


Congratulations to everyone! We can't wait to work with all of you and have a FANTASTIC summer in West Park!



The Renaissance Man

Directed by Joseph Zettelmaier

Performing 6/15, 6/16, 6/17, 6/22, 6/23, 6/24, 6/29, 6/30 and 7/1 all at 7PM





Becky - Julia Garlotte

Laney - Annie Dilworth

Emma - Kelly Rose Voigt

Martin - Pat Loos

Eli - David Galido

Chuck - Robert Schorr







Peter and the Starcatcher

Directed by Phil Simmons

Performing 7/13, 7/14, 7/15, 7/20, 7/21, 7/22, 7/27, 7/28, and 7/29
all at 8PM



Black Stache - Matt Cameron

Mrs. Bumbrake/Teacher - John DeMerell

Molly Aster - Kristin McSweeney

Boy/Peter - Brendan Kelly

Smee - Kimberly Alley

Lord Aster - Joel Mitchell

Prentiss - Tyler Calhoun

Ted - Anthony Petrucci

Mack/Grempkin/Sanchez/Fighting Prawn - Jeffrey Stringer

Alf - Deborah Secord

Captain Scott - Ali Ghannam

Slank/Hawking Clam - Eddie Rothermel






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We believe no one should pass up live theatre due to its cost.  We rely on donations--not ticket sales--to fund our seasons, so we can provide a first-rate live theatre experience for the price of a movie ticket.


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Our 2017 season will be the largest season we've ever attempted.  Through an operational support grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts, we are thrilled to expand our offerings and will have a year-round presence!



First up in February is Sing Happy!, a celebration of the work of the famed songwriting duo, John Kander and Fred Ebb.  Kander and Ebb wrote some of the most beloved musicals of all time, including Chicago, Cabaret, and others.  Sing Happy! will feature well-known favorites and hidden gems from the famed songwriters’ catalogue as the performers explore matters of the heart. Directed by Thalia Schramm with Music Direction by R. MacKenzie Lewis, this show arrives just in time for Valentine’s Day, and will be presented in a dinner theater format in partnership with Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub and Restaurant on Main Street in Ann Arbor.



The Penny Seats’ 2017 Summer Season will again feature two shows, running back-to-back in Ann Arbor’s West Park.  In June, we're proud to present the world premiere of The Renaissance Man, a farcical look at Macbeth, as told by the workers at a Renaissance Faire.  The Renaissance Man tells the hilarious story of a hard-working Knight who dreams of transforming his beloved Faire, though his ambition proves unpopular among his co-workers.  The show is the work of Michigan’s award-winning playwright Joe Zettelmaier, who will direct it himself!



In July, we will present Peter and the Starcatcher, the daring and sweet prequel to J. M. Barrie's beloved Peter and Wendy. A play (with music), the show is based on the 2006 novel of a similar name by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, adapted for the stage by Rick Elice. The play opened on Broadway in 2012, receiving critical acclaim and Tony Award recognition, including a Best Actor statue for Christian Borle. The Penny Seats production will be directed by Phil Simmons, who serves on the theatre faculty at Eastern Michigan University.



Finally, just in time for Halloween, we'll perform The Turn of the Screw, a two-person adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher (who also authored What Corbin Knew, performed in the Penny Seats’ second season) of Henry James' well-known psychological thriller and ghost story.


It's our most ambitious slate to date. Join us!  


Tickets for Sing Happy go on sale November 1, 2016.  We can't wait.




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