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.

PHOTO CALL: ‘Cinderella’ on Tour!

The inaugural Detroit Youth Theatre and Dance Journey
tours to select Detroit schools this month!

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The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance has launched its inaugural Detroit Youth Theatre and Dance Journey with the children’s play Cinderella, or It’s OK to Be Different by Cynthia Mercati. Over the past two weeks, the cast and crew have toured to seven schools and one outdoor festival. The group continues on the road throughout the month but has seven performances at The Hilberry starting on the 20th of June.

In Cinderella, or It’s OK to be Different, a group of lively students discover that their familiar Cinderella story isn’t the only one – that there was a Cinderella in ancient Egypt and one among the Algonquin Indians and that there are hundreds of Cinderella tales all around the world! In an innovative, sophisticated, and theatrical style, this fast-paced, up-beat, multicultural show focuses on the universality of folk literature and finds that it’s okay to be different.
Performances of Cinderella, or It’s OK to be Different will play at the Hilberry Theatre on June 20, June 21, June 23, June 27, June 28 and June 30.  Individual Tickets are $5 for children and $8 for adults. There is a $5 per ticket price for groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at 313-577-2972, online at http://www.wsushows.com, or by visiting the box office at 4743 Cass Ave. on the corner of Cass Ave. and Hancock. The summer Box Office hours are Tuesday – Friday from 10 – 2 p.m. The box office will be open one hour prior to all performances. Performance information and tickets may also be obtained by visiting the Theatre’s websites at www.hilberry.com.

Make your reservations today as the performance at The Hilberry Theatre on June 27 at 10:30 a.m. is already sold out.

Calendar Information:

Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:30 a.m.
Friday, June 21, 2013 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, June 23, 2013 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:30 a.m. (SOLD OUT)
Thursday, June 27, 2013 1:00 p.m.
Friday, June 28, 2013 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, June 30, 2013 2:00 p.m.

PRESS RELEASE: Cinderella, or, It’s Okay To Be Different

Variations on the Classic Tale Kicks Off
Wayne State University’s  Detroit Youth Theatre
and Dance Journey Inaugural Season

Cinderella, or It's OK to be Different

DETROIT – The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance will launch its inaugural Detroit Youth Theatre and Dance Journey with the children’s play Cinderella, or, It’s Okay to Be Different by Cynthia Mercati on June 4, 2013 and will travel to eleven different Detroit Public  Elementary Schools throughout the month of June.  The production will play at the Hilberry Theatre on June 20, June 21, June 23, June 27, June 28 and June 30 to provide an opportunity for all children and adults to enjoy Cinderella, or, It’s Okay to Be Different.  The performance on June 27 at 10:30 a.m. is already sold out.

This tale of Cinderella takes place on a school playground as a group of lively students discover that their familiar Cinderella story isn’t the only one – that there was a Cinderella in ancient Egypt and one among the Algonquin Indians and that there are hundreds of Cinderella tales all around the world! In an innovative, sophisticated, and theatrical style, this fast-paced, up-beat, multicultural show focuses on the universality of folk literature and finds that it’s okay to be different.

The tour to Detroit Public Schools is part of The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance outreach programs in response to the cuts of fine art programs to most Detroit Public Schools (DPS).  The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance is offering the performances to the elementary schools within DPS because according to department chair John Wolf: “Cutbacks in DPS art programs have reduced the children’s exposure to fine and creative arts.  Detroit Public Schools and their children may face more challenges than others with greater means.  Having the opportunity to provide them access to Theatre and Dance and to entertain them for a day will hopefully enhance their lives and lighten their load.”

Cinderella, or, It’s Okay to be Different will also be participating in three separate festivals throughout the city during the month of June on Saturdays.  The production will be featured in North Rosedale Park’s June Days Festival on June 8, a featured production in Detroit River Days in their Kid Zone on June 22 and will also be a part of the Summer In the Park Children’s Series at Campus Martius on June 29.

Individual Tickets are $5 for children and $8 for adults.  There is a $5 per ticket price for groups of 10 or more.  Tickets may be purchased by calling the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at 313-577-2972, online at http://www.wsushows.com, or by visiting the box office at 4743 Cass Ave. on the corner of Cass Ave. and Hancock.  The summer Box Office hours are Tuesday – Friday from 10 – 2 p.m. The box office will be open one hour prior to all performances. Performance information and tickets may also be obtained by visiting the Theatre’s websites at http://www.hilberry.com.

Cast:

Jacqueline Fenton (Lacey), Tayler Jones (Teresa), Colin Mallory (Kyle),  Jackson McLaskey (Jeremy), Brittany Michael (Jodie), Yesmeen Mikhail (Kim).

Production Team:

Andrew Papa (Director), Nick Boyd (Stage Manager), Veronica Zahn (Production Manager), Christa Tausney (Scenic and Property Designer), Ryan Koprinces (Lighting Designer), Mary Leyendecker (Costume Designer), Amy Schneider (Sound Designer).

About the Hilberry Theatre Company

The Hilberry Theatre Company is the nation’s only professional theatre company that is staffed by graduate students and runs on a rotating repertory schedule.  Each academic year, about forty graduate students receive assistantships to work for the Hilberry Theatre and study for advanced degrees from Wayne State University. The company performs and produces an annual season of six plays, including high school matinees for nearly 6,000 students. For box office hours and information on performances, tickets, and group discounts and corporate packages, visit the theatre’s website at http://www.hilberry.com. 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.

Cinderella, or, It’s OK to be Different
By Cynthia Mercati

Calendar Information:

Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:30 a.m.
Friday, June 21, 2013 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, June 23, 2013 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:30 a.m. (SOLD OUT)
Thursday, June 27, 2013 1:00 p.m.
Friday, June 28, 2013 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, June 30, 2013 2:00 p.m.

For reservations, go to http://www.WSUshows.com