Local thespians have produced double delights on local stages, with the Detroit Mercy Theatre Company garnering national honors in May from the Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival’s National Competition, for its fall 2021 production of “Antigone,” and the Ringwald Theatre premiering its original romantic comedy musical parody “You’ve Got Male.”
DETROIT MERCY EARNS HONORS
The University of Detroit Mercy Department of Performing Arts announced June 14 that the theater department’s fall 2021 production of Sophocle’s “Antigone,” edited by Diane J. Rayor, received both regional and national honors.
In January, the show was one of six regional productions chosen to perform at the 2022 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Region 3 Festival, a regional honor.
Then, in May, it received national recognition at the 2022 Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival’s National Competition, for special achievement in an ensemble performance, and for special achievement in lighting design by Seth Amadei of Dearborn.
The production was the first U of D Mercy show since 1978 that has made it to the national level. The department congratulates its students and staff for their work and performances.
The cast of “Antigone” consisted of Dearborn Heights actor Adam Elzein as Haemon and in the chorus; Detroit residents Frederick Botten as a messenger and guard, Kaelyn Johnson as Antigone, and Jade Sibert as Ismene; Bella Cole of Shelby Township as the chorus leader; Josiah Martelle of Sterling Heights as a guard; Brooklyn McDowell of Farmington in the chorus; Joel Mitchell of Berkley as Creon; Katherine Mutschler of Royal Oak in the chorus; Elise Panneman of Clinton Township as Eurydice and in the chorus; and Olivia Swad of Chesterfield Township as Tiresias and in the chorus.
Production team members include adjunct professor Sarah Hawkins Rusk of Hazel Park as the director, Greg Grobis of Oak Park as managing director, Dearborn residents Alan Devlin as scenic designer and technical director, and Seth Amadei as the lighting designer, and Wyandotte resident Jeremy St. Martin as the sound designer.
The debut of the original romantic comedy musical parody “You’ve Got Male” takes to the Ringwald stage July 8 through Aug. 8 at Affirmations, 290 W. Nine Mile Road in Ferndale.
Written by local playwrights Vince Kelley and Matthew Arrington, the show is a jukebox musical mash-up.
Arrington said it is an honor to be part of producing a big, raucous, campy summer parody for the Ringwald.
“We hope everyone enjoys watching our love letter to romantic comedies as much as we enjoyed writing it,” he said.
The story centers on successful wedding planner Julian Roberts and team member Ryan, who can’t stand each other in person, but who unknowingly connect online, launching a romance on Grindr, a social networking app for the LGBTQ community.
When Ryan learns his online romance is with his tightly wound boss, he must rethink what he thought he knew about him.
The cast weaves romantic comedy icons into the show as it offers songs about love and loss, and hopefully finds its way to a happy ending.
Kelley said the show allowed the writers to take full advantage of its growing roster of talented performers, who include: Ryan Bernier as Ryan; Adam Graber as Julian Roberts; Al Duffy as the hot doctor, Twink, Che Diaz and Grandma Nora; Suzan M. Jacokes as the coffee lady, Miranda Priestly, Samanda Newhouse and Gay Bear; Richard Payton as Dick Sanbutts; and Rashna “Rashi” Sarwar as Judy Greer.
Directed by Brandy Joe Plambeck, Arrington assistant directs, with Lily Czartorski as the music director, Jair Alexander as the choreographer, Kelley as the costume designer and Plambeck as the lighting and sound designer.
Tickets are $25 for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows, and $15 for the Monday shows. Performances are 8 p.m. July 8, 9, 11, 15, 16, 18, 22, 23, 25, 29 and 30, and Aug. 1, 5, 6 and 8; with 3 p.m. July 10, 17, 24 and 31 and Aug. 7 matinees.
Tickets are available online at the Ringwald.com. The theater is now cashless, but credit cards will be accepted at the door.
Masks and proof of vaccination are required for entry.