Monthly Archives: August 2009

Actors’ Theatre in the News, “Top Dog/Underdog” Almost Censored in Grand Rapids…

Be sure and check out this article by Dave Murry at The Grand Rapids Press

Controversial “Top Dog/Underdog,” almost censored at City High, will be performed by Actors’ Theatre

Posted by Dave Murray | The Grand Rapids Press August 25, 2009 10:57AM

A play that was almost censored at City High will soon come to life on a Grand Rapids Community College stage.

“TopDog/Underdog” by Suzan-Lori Parks was the target of a 2007 ruckus in Grand Rapids Public Schools.

“TopDog/Underdog” revolves around two poor inner-city brothers and their experiences with women, crime and racism. The 2002 drama uses vulgarities and profanities more than 100 times. Yes, I counted….

Read the rest of the article here on www.mlive.com

Actors’ Theatre is committed to bring West Michigan the best in entertaining, innovative, challenging and thought-provoking theatre.

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Filed under In The News, Plays and Productions, Press Release

Actors’ Theatre Presents the Pulitzer Prize Winning Play “Topdog/Underdog” by Suzan-Lori Parks

September 24, 25 & 26 and October 1, 2 & 3

Winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, TopDog/Underdog is a dark comic fable of brotherly love and family identity and a riff on the way we are defined by history. The play tells the story of Lincoln and Booth, two brothers whose names were given to them as a joke, foretelling a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future.

Actors’ Theatre is proud to have the Grand Rapids Community College’s Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center as sponsors of their production of TopDog/Underdog.

The cast of TopDog/Underdog includes Sammy A. Publes and Marcus Woodswelch. Marcus, having traveled south and west, now returns to Grand Rapids and the Actors’ Stage (having appeared in Angels in America, Violet and Our Country’s Good) for this production. Woodswelch has worked in film and television appearing in such films as Coach Carter and Half Past Dead. Publes also returns to our stage having appeared in Jesus Hopped the A-Train, Lady of The Camellias and Sideman. He received a Grand Award for Outstanding Actor for his work in Grand Rapids Jewish Theatre’s Chaim’s Love Song. Publes also works in film and television having appeared in the A&E television program The Beast and the feature film Gran Torino. He also was seen in Our Lady of 121st Street at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.

The production staff of TopDog/Underdog includes director Fred Sebulske, stage manager Malinda Petersen, set designer Christian Poquette, properties designer Leslie Kohn, lighting designer David Miller, sound designer Steve Taber and costumer Jessica Frymire.

Director Fred Sebulske says: “I have wanted to do this play ever since I read it the year Suzan Lori-Parks won the Pulitzer Prize, the first African-American woman to win that coveted award.  She has written a funny, scary, lyrical and gritty piece that uses the relationship of two brothers to explore a story as old as Cain and Abel and as current as the plight of the African-American male finding his way in contemporary America.  This play is theatre at its essence – immediate, raw, and exploring ideas which are as profound as possible.”

Tickets range from $22.00 for adults to $8.00 for student rush tickets an hour prior to performances.  On Thursday performances, a second ticket is $10.00 with the purchase of the first ticket at full price.  The box office number to reserve tickets is 616.234.3946 (box office opens on Monday, September 7, 2009 at noon for season ticket holders and on Monday, September 14, 2009 at noon for the general public.)

Actors’ Theatre is dedicated to bringing the best in entertaining, innovative, challenging and thought-provoking theatre to West Michigan. We believe in the inclusion of all.

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Filed under Plays and Productions, Press Release

Actors Theatre and Creative Edge Productions are proud to present BROADWAY OUR WAY…

…a musical journey through Broadway’s greatest hits!Appearing this September at Actors' Theatre

Starring award-winning actors: Kelly Carey, Cici Gramer, Stephen Grey, and Larry Young accompanied by a six-piece orchestra lead by Wright McCargar.

This tribute features over twenty of Broadway’s most memorable songs from smash – hit shows like: Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Singing in the Rain, Annie Get Your Gun, The King and I, A Chorus Line, and many more!

Performances will be at the Spectrum Theater:
September 11th at 8:00 PM
September 12th at 8:00 PM

Tickets are $20
* With your purchase of an Actors’ Theatre Season Ticket you will receive a buy-one-get-one-free voucher for this amazing production!

Call 616.234.3946 starting September 1, 2009 to reserve your tickets!

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Filed under Events