Category Archives: In The News

Actors’ Theatre Congratulates All Grand Award Winners and Nominees!

Kyle Los plays Thomas and Ellie Frances plays Vanda during the dress rehearsal of the Actors' Theatre production of 'Venus in Fur' Wednesday night. (Katy Batdorff |

Kyle Los plays Thomas and Ellie Frances plays Vanda during the dress rehearsal of the Actors’ Theatre production of ‘Venus in Fur’ Wednesday night. (Katy Batdorff |

Actors’ Theatre would like to send a great big “thank you” to everyone who volunteered their time and energy over the past season of community theatre. Grand Rapids has an amazing theatrical community, which was highlighted last weekend at the annual Grand Awards.

For a list of this year’s winner, see Sue Merrell’s article on mlive. Here’s a sneak peak to get you started:


Outstanding Musical — “Spamalot,” Circle Theatre
Lead Actor — Jeremiah Postma, “Les Miserables,” Civic Theatre
Lead Actress — Kathy Gibson, “Grey Gardens,” Actors’ Theatre
Supporting Actor — Matt Ablan, “Spamalot,” Circle Theatre
Supporting Actress — Molly Jones, “Les Miserables,” Civic Theatre
Director — Tom Kaechele, “Spamalot,” Circle Theatre
Musical Director — Charles Hutchins, “Les Miserables,” Civic Theatre
Choreography — Mary Lohman, “The Sound of Music, “ Civic Theatre

Outstanding Play — “Venus in Fur, “ Actors’ Theatre
Lead Actor — Kyle Los, “Venus in Fur, “ Actors’ Theatre
Lead Actress — Ellie Frances, “Venus in Fur,” Actors’ Theatre
Supporting Actor — Jeffrey Williams and Dylan Harris, “Love! Valour! Compassion!” Actors’ Theatre
Supporting Actress — Catie Berg , “One Man, Two Guvnors,” Circle Theatre
Director — Michelle Urbane, “ Venus in Fur,” Actors’ Theatre

See the complete list of winners and more at

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Filed under In The News, Plays and Productions

Actors’ Congratulates Recent Scholarship Winners!

059475-3d-transparent-glass-icon-hat-graduationActors’ Theatre would like to send a big congratulations to Preston Mulligan, Patrick Nowak and Meeka Postman, all recent winners of theatre scholarships! Take a moment to read more about the scholarships and these amazing local performers in this article from mlive:

Rising local actors awarded $6,000 in scholarships at Festival of the Arts 2014

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Three scholarships worth $6,000 for young actors were among the awards presented during Festival of the Arts 2014.

Winners of the Combined Theatre Scholarships for budding thespians in the Grand Rapids area are Preston Mulligan, Patrick Nowak and Meeka Postman.

One of the three awards, formerly known as the Grand Award Scholarship, was renamed the Paul Dreher Scholarship in honor of the former managing director of Grand Rapids Civic Theatre who died in June 2013.

[Read more about the recipients in the full article…]

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Filed under Communication, In The News reviews Grey Gardens at Actors’ Theatre

Check out this review by Cassandra Sandros from

BWW Reviews: From Everything to Nothing: GREY GARDENS the Musical (Actors’ Theatre)

Grey Gardens Logo

The offbeat and somewhat perplexing musical Grey Gardensacts as a pseudo-documentary of the rise and fall of the reclusive mother/daughter duo of “Big” Edith Bouvier Beale and “Little” Edith Bouvier Beale. Aunt and cousin, respectively, of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the story follows their lives from high society to abject poverty, living in a decomposing mansion overrun with flea-infested cats.

Grey Gardens the Musical is based upon the 1976 documentary of the same name, by Albert and David Maysles. Footage from this documentary is played as a prologue, accompanied, ironically, by the song ‘The Girl Who Has Everything’.

This introduction transitions into the luxurious Grey Gardens mansion of 1941 on the eve of Little Edie’s engagement party, wherein the play takes on the camp qualities of other pre-World War II musicals. This portion of the show is the product of fantasy, as the writers imagined what it would have been like for the family at the peak of their fame. The songs are upbeat and Porter-esque and the Bouvier family is at the height of its influence and grandeur. Big Edie (Kathy Gibson) is portrayed as a self-involved socialite whose time is spent preparing musical works with her charming, ivory-tickling “soulmate”, George Gould Strong (Neil Trevisan), while Little Edie (Allyson Paris) longs for the freedom to pursue her own dreams of stage and screen. After expressing her sincere desire to have things remain the same and not to lose her daughter, Big Edie sabotages her daughter’s engagement to the White House-seeking Joe Kennedy and Act One draws to its conclusion as Little Edie makes her escape to New York City, leaving Big Edie to entertain the party guests (the audience) with the heart-breaking “Will You”.

[Click over and read the rest of the review on]

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Filed under In The News, Plays and Productions

Learn More about Actors’ Managing Director, Debbie Playford

Recently there were several articles about Actors’ Managing Director, Debbie Playford. Want to learn more about our fantastic staff? Check out this article by Jan Hoist on

Debbie Playford of Actors' Theatre

Debbie Playford of Actors’ Theatre

East Grand Rapids woman taking new role in hopes of expanding live theater

EAST GRAND RAPIDS – Debbie Playford, an East Grand Rapids resident, found a love for theater through her two school-age children.

Playford has an extensive business background, including the building of a successful business with her husband of 18 years, Brad Playford, but until last fall had never worked in the theater world.

Today she is the managing director of Actors’ Theatre – a decision made by the board of directors in a move members hope will expand the horizons of live theater.

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We’re thrilled to have Debbie as part of our team. When you see her at the theatre, be sure and say hello!

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Filed under In The News

Press Photos from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Andrew Kuhn from mlive got some great photos from dress rehearsal of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Click on the photo below to see them all!

Cast members take the stage during a dress rehearsal of "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," at the Actors' Theatre in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. (Andrew Kuhn |

Cast members take the stage during a dress rehearsal of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” at the Actors’ Theatre in Grand Rapids on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. (Andrew Kuhn |

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February 15, 2014 · 8:15 pm