WELCOME TO THE PENNY SEATS THEATRE COMPANY
The Turn of the Screw Opens October 5
ANN ARBOR - The Penny Seats Theatre Company is thrilled to announce another first in its history: the setting of a spooky, psychological thriller inside a church, just in time for Halloween. Throughout the month of October, the group will present Henry James’s famous Victorian ghost story, The Turn of the Screw, in a recent adaptation by famed playwright and screenwriter, Jeffrey Hatcher, set in Ann Arbor’s own historic neo-gothic landmark, The First Congregational Church on the corner of State and William Streets. The single-act show runs a quick 70 minutes, and recounts the story of an impressionable young governess and her encounter with the odd people—and, perhaps, the ghosts—of a remote English manor. Hatcher’s clever, two-person adaptation is directed by established local director and actor, Julia Glander, and stars regional favorites Mary Dilworth, in the role of the governess, and Will Myers, as every other part in the play. Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21. All shows are at 8:00pm. More information, and advance tickets ($12), are available at www.pennyseats.org or by phone at (734) 926-5346. Door tickets ($15) will also be available. Groups of 10 or more can buy discounted tickets for just $10 per seat.
Glander expressed particular excitement about the place-based nature of this production: “This is an incredible location, a Victorian Gothic church in which the first cornerstone was laid in June, 1872, the same month and year that our story begins. Then, we add two terrific actors in tour-de- force performances who summon a ghostly, imaginative, ambiguous, lurid, downright creepy ‘Turn.’ As a result, this famously eerie tale becomes truly memorable. It’s a wonderful adaptation, with historical context; a psychological thriller for October, on campus!”
Producer Lauren London, The Penny Seats’ Executive Director, added that “place-
based productions are part of The Penny Seats’ DNA. We love to place our shows in locations that lend themselves particularly well to the story’s setting. That way, the
environment enhances the audience experience, making it truly immersive. We can’t wait for people to experience this adaptation, in this space.”
The Turn of the Screw is the last show of The Penny Seats’ 2017 season, and is
suitable for ages 13+. Advance tickets are recommended.
Casts Announced for The Penny Seats Winter 2018 Season!
Thanks to all who auditioned for our Winter 2018 shows! We are excited to announce the casts of Edges and Matt & Ben.
Edges, by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul:
Matt & Ben, by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers:
Matt Damon: Allison Megroet
Ben Affleck: Allyson Miko
Edges is a song-cycle about four thriving adults asking the questions of everyday life. Written by Tony Award Winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hanson, Dogfight, James and the Giant Peach) in their sophomore year at the University of Michigan, this show journeys to demonstrate the genuine hardships and experiences that we know to be true, as we do our best to balance on the edge of our lives. Edges will perform at the Kerrytown Concert House on February 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, and 16, 2018.
Matt & Ben takes the audience to the beginning of one of Hollywood’s longest bromances, as we watch Matt Damon and Ben Affleck create the story of what would become Good Will Hunting. This unique take on the story gives two women the opportunity to portray the two Hollywood actors as they create the story that would change their lives. Shows will take place April 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21, 2018.
Tickets for both productions will be available at www.pennyseats.org
THANK YOU FOR AN INCREDIBLE SUMMER SEASON!
THE TURN OF THE SCREW OPENS OCTOBER 5, 2017
AT THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF ANN ARBOR
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE!
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER OPENS JULY 13TH!
The Penny Seats Will Present Peter and the Starcatcher -- a Peter Pan Prequel -- at West Park in July
ANN ARBOR - The Penny Seats Theatre Company is excited to announce that Peter and the Starcatcher, the second show of its seventh summer season, will open on Thursday, July 13th. The story is a clever and imaginative prequel to J.M. Barrie's classic tale, Peter Pan. This Tony-winning play by Rick Elice, based on the best-selling novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, is directed by Phil Simmons who serves on the theatre faculty at Eastern Michigan University, with music direction by Rebecca Biber. The show tells the story of how a miserable orphan becomes The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan). Peter and the Starcatcher is a theatrical adaptation where cast members switch in and out of roles constantly, becoming part of the piratical world they weave, and creating magic along the way. This will be Penny Seats’ first outdoor twilight show, with all performances beginning at 8:00 p.m.
The show will star Brendan Kelly in the role of Peter along with Kristin McSweeney, Kimberly Alley, Tyler Calhoun, Anthony Petrucci, Keith Kalinowski, Deborah Secord, John DeMerell, Ali Ghannam, Eddie Rothermel, Jeff Stringer, and Matt Cameron as the wicked pirate Black Stache. The group will perform at Ann Arbor’s West Park, in the band shell area, The Penny Seats’ habitual summer home.
“This show is nothing short of magic,” says Penny Seats Executive Director Lauren London. “It combines so many elements that make theatre delightful: it relies on imagination, it relies on teamwork, it makes good points while laughing at itself, and it’s charmingly self-referential without being cloying. I can’t think of a better show for our summer season.” Director Phil Simmons adds, “the imagination is key here. Props are improvised and don’t match, and many actors play several completely random roles: pirates, orphans, narcissistic would-be villains, mollusks, fish-turned-to-people, etc. But ultimately, this story is about real people with real feelings, and that is where the power of this pies lies.”
Performances are July 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29. All shows begin at 8:00pm. 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.
BID ON SILENT AUCTION ITEMS AT OUR SUMMER PREVIEW EVENT!
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.
THANKS TO OUR EVENT DONORS!
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
ANNOUNCING OUR 2017 SEASON
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.
They're wacky! They're fun! They're THE TWINTERNS!
Check out their newest blog post here!