Summer Fun in the Sun with Thaddeus and ‘Tila

The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance is pleased to present its annual season of Summer Children’s Theatre, this year featuring a performance of Thaddeus and ‘Tila  (A Crane and Frog Tale), winner of the 2004 Macy’s New Play Prize for Young Audiences.

Thaddeus is a frog who dreams of flying. One day, ‘Tila, a teenage crane with poor eyesight, crashes into Thaddeus’ pond and a friendship quickly blossoms when he saves her life. When they find out bulldozers are on the way to clear the swamp and make way for a housing subdivision, Thaddeus and ‘Tila must overcome the bullying of fellow swamp creatures, Mos and Sala, as well as their own personal obstacles to save themselves and their fellow swamp residents. Don’t miss out on the excitement!

2015 Summer Show

Bonnie Holmes as ‘Tila (top left), Maria Simpkins as Birdie (top right), and Tayler Jones as Thaddeus (down front)

The production plays at the Hilberry Theatre June 18 – 20 and June 25 – 27 at 10:30 a.m. as well as June 20 and June 27 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $5 for children (up to age 12) and $8 for adults. They may be purchased by calling 313-577-2972, visiting http://www.wsushows.com, or visiting the Wayne State University Box Office located at 4743 Cass Ave. on the corner of Hancock St.

“My vision of the play is ‘Flying to a world of possibilities,’” says director Billicia Hines. “Even though he was bullied over it, Thaddeus held strong to his dream of flying. I hope the children of Detroit will be inspired to fly to their own world of possibilities. You may be surrounded by bad circumstances, but that should not deter you from staying positive and going after your dreams.”

Thaddeus and ‘Tila also tours Detroit Public Schools free-of-charge during the months of May and June, reaching over 5,000 students at 21 schools. This tour is part of an ongoing commitment to educational arts outreach by the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance.

The Cast (In Alphabetical Order)
Bonnie Holmes (‘Tila), Jada Johnson (Mos), Tayler Jones (Thaddeus), Michaella Mallet (Sala), Maria Simpkins (Birdie)

The Production Team
Billicia Charnelle Hines (Director), Stephanie Baugher (Scenic Designer), Anne Suchyta (Costume Designer), Mike Hallberg (Lighting Designer), Derek Graham (Sound Designer), Lyndee Hallahan (Stage Manager), Brian Dambacher (Technical Director), Jason Goldman (Publicist)

About the Hilberry Theatre Company
Wayne State University’s Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance serves students as a nexus of performance, production, and research in the fields of dance, theatre, and performance studies.  It provides a wide variety of degree programs that allow students the flexibility to study these disciplines broadly or to concentrate more specifically in performance, design, or management.  The Hilberry Theatre hosts a professional theatre company that is staffed by graduate students and runs on a rotating repertory schedule.  Each academic year, graduate students receive assistantships to work for the Hilberry Theatre and study for advanced degrees.  The company performs and produces an annual season of six plays, including high school matinees for nearly 6,000 students.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.

Calendar Information
June 18 – June 27
Thursday, June 18            10:30 a.m.
Friday, June 19                 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, June 20             10:30 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 25            10:30 a.m.
Friday, June 26                 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, June 27             10:30 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.

Stage Door Series, an evening for Young Professionals, debuts at the Hilberry Theatre April 18

DETROIT – The Hilberry Theatre Company is launching a program for the young professional Detroit community. The Stage Door Series is an exciting new opportunity for arts-lovers in their 20s and 30s to enjoy an evening of theatre followed by a trip to one of many great Midtown watering holes where they will mingle with the Hilberry company members along with other young professionals.

Manocchio_StageDoor

The program will kick-off at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 18th with The 39 Steps, a hilarious spoof of the 1935 Hitchcock thriller that blends frenzied performances and wildly inventive stagecraft with spies, murder, and some good old-fashioned romance!  A two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winner, The 39 Steps is a serious-spy-story-turned-madcap-comedy, full of biting wit, hilarious character changes, and allusions to, and puns on, other classic Hitchcock stories.

Following the show, members of the Hilberry cast and crew will be at Tony V’s Tavern located a few blocks North of the theatre at 5756 Cass Ave., to meet and mingle with other Detroiters, promising a great night for all.

The Hilberry Theatre, part of Wayne State University, is a graduate theatre program employing more than 35 theatre professionals under the age of 35. Located in the heart of Midtown, the Hilberry Company already enjoys the nightlife of Detroit, and now they want to include you!

The Stage Door Series will continue into the Hilberry’s 2015–16 season with a schedule of six memorable shows and six lively restaurants. The 2015–16 season includes titles such as the uproarious One Man Two Guvnors and the lavish The Great Gatsby, so the Stage Door Series is guaranteed to be a fun time with good people and great conversation.

To purchase tickets, call (313) 577-2972 or visit the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock Street. Subscriptions to the 2015–16 Stage Door Series are on sale now. Subscribers are an integral part of the Hilberry community and enjoy discounted prices, priority seating, exchange privileges, lost ticket insurance, free coffee, and a free subscription to the theatre’s newsletter.

About the Hilberry Theatre Company

The Hilberry Theatre hosts a professional theatre company that is staffed by graduate students in Wayne State University’s Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance and runs on a rotating repertory schedule.  Each academic year, graduate students receive assistantships to work for the Hilberry Theatre and study for advanced degrees. The company performs and produces an annual season of six plays, including high school matinees for nearly 6,000 students.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 31,000 students.

THE 39 STEPS PROMISES A HILARIOUS FINALE TO THE SEASON

DETROIT – The Hilberry Theatre Company is pleased to present the final production of its 52nd season. The 39 Steps, running April 10th – 25th, takes a well-known story immortalized on film by Alfred Hitchcock and adds comedic, suspenseful, and fast-paced twists. The play is adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan and the movie by Alfred Hitchcock.

Michael Manocchio, photo by Ian Wolfe and Sandra Turner

Michael Manocchio, photo by Ian Wolfe and Sandra Turner

This hilarious spoof of the 1935 Hitchcock thriller blends frenzied performances and wildly inventive stagecraft with spies, murder, and some good old-fashioned romance!  A two-time Tony and Drama Desk award winner, The 39 Steps is a serious spy story turned madcap comedy, full of biting wit and hilarious character changes, as well as allusions to and puns on other Hitchcock classic stories.

The Hilberry welcomes guest director Russell Treyz, who has a wide range of production credits across the country. Treyz describes the play as “great fun for audience and actors alike. Newbies to Hitchcock and Hitchcock addicts will both revel in the fun and suspense of the story and its references. The original creators of this theater piece built it from shot to shot references to Hitchcock’s original film, but it has also grown to include much more for fans of classic suspense cinema.”

Tickets for The 39 Steps range from $10–$31 and are available by calling the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at (313) 577-2972, online at Hilberry.com, or by visiting the box office at 4743 Cass Avenue at the corner of Hancock Street.

The Hilberry’s recently unveiled 2015-16 season promises a delightful array of comedy and drama. The season will kick off with the Southeast Michigan premiere of One Man, Two Guvnors, a recent Broadway hit. Next up will be a new adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, running both on the mainstage and in special student group matinees. Appearing just in time for the holidays will be Inspecting Carol, a backstage holiday comedy. Early 2016 brings William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, followed by the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park, addressing gentrification in 21st century urban America. The season will conclude in April 2016 with David Ives’ hysterical version of the French farce, A Flea in Her Ear.

Calendar Information

Wednesday 2 p.m.          April 15 (Post show Talkback)
Thursday 8 p.m.                April 16 (Preshow Discussion), April 23
Friday 8 p.m.                      April 10 (Opening Night), April 17, April 24
Saturday 2 p.m.                April 11, April 25
Saturday 8 p.m.                April 11, April 18, April 25

Cast (in alphabetical order):

Bevin Bell-Hall (Woman), Devri Chism (Stage Hand), Julian David Colletta (Stage Hand), Santino Craven (Stage Hand), Michael Manocchio (Richard Hannay), Brandy Joe Plambeck (Clown), Michael Phillip Thomas (Clown)

Production Team:

Russell Treyz (Director), Lyndee Hallahan (Stage Manager), Allison Baker (Assistant Stage Manager), Tonae Mitsuhashi (Set Designer), Mary Gietzen (Costume Designer), Eric Haugen (Lighting Designer), Amy M. Schneider (Sound Designer), Stephanie Baugher (Properties Master), Brian Dambacher (Technical Director), Mario Raymond (Master Electrician), Dale Dorlin (Publicist), JP Hitesman (Assistant Publicist).

About the Hilberry Theatre Company

Wayne State University’s Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance serves students as a nexus of performance, production, and research in the fields of dance, theatre, and performance studies.  It provides a wide variety of degree programs that allow students the flexibility to study these disciplines broadly or to concentrate more specifically in performance, design, or management.  The Hilberry Theatre hosts a professional theatre company that is staffed by graduate students and runs on a rotating repertory schedule.  Each academic year, graduate students receive assistantships to work for the Hilberry Theatre and study for advanced degrees.  The company performs and produces an annual season of six plays, including high school matinees for nearly 6,000 students.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.

“AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE” COMING TO THE HILBERRY

Here’s another great preview piece on An Enemy of the People, this time from our friend Patrick Chism at Opportunity Detroit. Read the full article here.

An Enemy of the People at the Hilberry Theatre Photo by Bruce Giffin

An Enemy of the People at the Hilberry Theatre
Photo by Bruce Giffin

Before you take that next trip to the spa, have the water tested and check out the Hilberry Theatre Company’s production of “An Enemy of the People,” opening February 20 in Midtown. Adapted from a play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and written by Arthur Miller, “An Enemy of the People” is the dramatic tale of a Norwegian town with a single economical resource: a spa that is bubbling with medicinal properties. But when Doctor Thomas Stockmann discovers there are lethal diseases spreading through these healing waters, he runs to his brother, the mayor of the town, in hopes to shut the spa down. Mayor Peter Stockmann, however, knows that removing the spa would financially cripple the town, so he attempts to hide this information, going as far as to turn the town against his brother.

Surrounded by mystery and scandal, “An Enemy of the People” asks its audience to consider the ways in which leaders are perceived by their communities and how the public’s opinion can be easily swayed. Brandy Joe Plambeck, who plays the uncompromising Doctor Stockmann, explains that there’s a disconnect in the play between what’s real and what the public believes to be real. “You’ve got a tragic hero who knows the truth,” says Plambeck, “but because of certain situations, it becomes more difficult than he thought for the truth to be known.” The doctor’s goal is to make the public aware of the poisonous waters, but he is idealistic to a fault, thinking about the safety of the people without considering the town’s fatal attachment to their own prosperity. The mayor represents the other side of the spectrum, focusing on the good of the town without considering the health of its citizens. Plambeck suggests that both of the men have genuine goals to a point, “but the real enemy of the people is pride.”

This manipulation of the public opinion is a common theme throughout “Enemy of the People,” which is why Brandon Grantz, who plays Mayor Stockmann, believes that this show is still relevant today. “Like a mayor who talks to the people in public one way, but then he talks to his brother in another way behind closed doors. This happens today. And it gives insight on the difficult decisions these leaders have to make.”

Read the full article here.

Like Opportunity Detroit on Facebook.

Ibsen’s ‘Enemy’ retains relevance in modern world

Reposted from Patrick Dunn at The Detroit News. Read the full article here.

Left to Right: Brandy Joe Plambeck and Brandon Grantz. Photo by Bruce Giffin

Left to Right: Brandy Joe Plambeck and Brandon Grantz. Photo by Bruce Giffin

Environmental political dramas may seem a relatively recent phenomenon, but Dr. Thomas Stockmann was a whistle-blower over a century before Erin Brockovich made it cool.

Stockmann is the protagonist of Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play “An Enemy of the People,” which the Hilberry Theatre Company will perform in repertory beginning Friday. When Stockmann discovers that the popular public baths in his town are contaminated, he comes into conflict with his brother Peter, the town’s mayor. With a vested financial interest in keeping the baths open, Peter works to turn the local press — and the community at large — against Thomas.

Blair Anderson, director of the Hilberry production, says Ibsen has long been on his directorial “wish list” because the Norwegian playwright’s work still has “tremendous resonance to our contemporary society.” He says “Enemy” confronts the idea that majority rule is always best.

“There are times when the solitary voice is ignored,” Anderson says in an email exchange. “Whistle-blowers are ostracized as much today as they were in the 1880s. It may not be as shocking today as it was on the cusp of the 20th century, but if one does stop and think, it can still be upsetting to really see how political, economic and educational decisions are made today.”

Anderson observes that while Ibsen is most often noted for his controversial social commentaries, the truly memorable characters in his plays are often overlooked.

Read the full article here.

Patrick Dunn is an Ann Arbor-based freelance writer.

‘An Enemy of the People’

2 p.m. Feb. 21, Feb. 25 and March 28;

8 p.m. Feb. 20-21, Feb. 26-28 and March 26-28

Hilberry Theatre

4743 Cass Ave., Detroit

Tickets $10-$30

(313) 577-2972

wsushows.com

The Hilberry Theatre Announces its 2014-15 Season

BTL Full PageDETROIT – On Friday, February 21, following the opening of Ken Ludwig’s show-biz comedy, Moon Over Buffalo, the Hilberry Theatre Company announced its 2014-15 Season, the 52nd for the cornerstone institution in Midtown Detroit.

From Shakespeare’s perfect love story Romeo and Juliet to Congreve’s drole wit in The Way of the World to An Enemy of the People, Ibsen’s masterpiece reimagined by Arthur Miller, the Hilberry continues its trademark commitment to exhibiting the classics.

The Hilberry Company also offers three of the best comic romps written in the last half century: the 2008 Tony-winning revision of the classic French farce Boeing-Boeing, the dazzlingly wordplay of David Ives in All in the Timing, and The 39 Steps, a celebrated spoof of Hitchcock’s film classic of the same title. Together, these have a combined 19 Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations and 5 wins.

Season tickets are on sale now! To subscribe, call (313) 577-2972 or visit the Wayne State University Theatre and Dance Box Office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock.

Subscribers are an integral part of the Hilberry community and they enjoy up to 35% off single ticket prices, priority seating, exchange privileges, lost ticket insurance, free coffee, a complimentary subscription to our newsletter, and an invitation to the annual Subscriber Party and Open House, which will take place on March 30, 2014.

 

Boeing Boeing
By Marc Camoletti
September 19 – October 4, 2014
Translated by Beverly Cross and Francis Evans
French bachelor Bernard lives a happy, structured life according to strict airline timetables – the American stewardess for breakfast, the Italian one for lunch, and the German for dinner!  The 2008 revised translation won 2 Tony Awards.

Romeo and Juliet
By William Shakespeare
October 24 – December 13, 2014
Shakespeare’s riveting romantic tragedy tells the tale of star-crossed lovers and the life of hatred and violence between their feuding families.  One of the best loved and most performed of Shakespeare’s work, the Hilberry has scheduled 10 morning matinees intended for area school groups.

All in the Timing
By David Ives
November 21, 2014 – January 31, 2015
Six hilarious one-acts from renowned playwright David Ives. From chimpanzees composing the complete works of William Shakespeare to the complexities facing minimalist composer Philip Glass while buying a loaf of bread, it’s non-stop madness! Winner of the 1993-1994 Outer Critics Award for “Best Playwriting”.

The Way of the World
By William Congreve
January 16 – March 7, 2015
Marriages of convenience and inconvenient marriages are propelled along on a wave of spectacular wit in Congreve’s mockery of upper-class foibles. This Restoration comedy is a Hilberry premiere.

An Enemy of the People
By Arthur Miller, adapted from Henrik Ibsen’s play
February 20 – March 28, 2015
Two brothers’ dispute over safety and civic duty divide their town. Who will gain the support of the public and who will become an Enemy of the People?

The 39 Steps
Adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan from the movie of Alfred Hitchcock
April 10 – 25, 2015
This hilarious spoof of the 1935 Hitchcock thriller will have you laughing from start to finish. The Drama Desk and Olivier Award-winner blends frenzied performances and wildly inventive stagecraft with spies, murder, and some good old-fashioned romance!

 

 

The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at the Bonstelle Theatre

Also announced on Friday are the titles offered by the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at the historic Bonstelle Theatre. The Bonstelle Theatre 2014-15 Season has a wide variety of entertaining performances, including classic comedy and drama, fantastic dance performances, and a hilarious musical.

++Currently available to Hilberry subscribers only, Bonstelle Theatre packages will go on sale March 20.

All’s Well That Ends Well
By William Shakespeare
When Helena sets her sights on Bertram – an uninterested nobleman, out of her league – she does whatever it takes to forge the perfect match.

Peter Pan
By J.M. Barrie, adapted by Janet Allard
Peter Pan, the boy who doesn’t grow up, enchants the Darling children, who fly away with him to Neverland and explore a land of lost boys, imagination, and dreams! A perfect family outing!

December Dance Concert
A showcase of dance works created by guest artists, recent works by Wayne State University dance faculty, and student dances.

Fences
By August Wilson
This Tony Award-winning classic follows an African American father and son as they struggle through unfulfilled hopes and shattered dreams during the American civil-rights era.

Spring Dance Concert
A dynamic evening, highlighting WSU’s talented dancers in innovative performances choreographed by widely-recognized guest artists, faculty members, and students.

Urinetown: The Musical
Music by Mark Hollmann. Lyrics by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis. Book by Greg Kotis
In this Tony Award-winning satirical musical, a long drought has caused an epic water shortage, making free toilets a thing of the past, and wreaking havoc on the bladders of the poor. 

Meet the Cast: Ethel Lane

Moon Over Buffalo - Ethel Lane

Moon Over Buffalo – Ethel Lane

Ethel Lane is a veteran stage actress with over 50 years of experience. Starting out in the chorus, she got her big break in 1896 when she played Desdemona to the great Harley Granville Barker’s Moor. Her performance caught the eye of Broadway producer Herbert Lane, whom she married in 1898.  Following the birth of daughter Charlotte, Ethel went on to play supporting roles in the American premieres of Shaw’s Heartbreak House and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.  She has toured America playing classic roles such as Hedda Gabler, Lady Macbeth, and Miss Julia, along with cutting-edge new works from Eugene O’Neill and Lillian Hellman.

Designed by John D. Woodland