Category Archives: Press Release

“Distracted” In The Grand Rapids’ Press

This Thursday Distracted opens at Actors’ Theatre! Tickets are on sale and available at or at the Spectrum Theatre box office by calling (616)234-3946.

An article about our next upcoming production was recently in the Grand Rapids Press.  Here is an excerpt from

Attention deficit presented from a mother’s perspective in ‘Distracted’

Published: Sunday, November 28, 2010, 5:28 AM
Sue Merrell | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — How do you get an audience to pay attention to a play about attention deficit disorder?

Paul L. Newby II | The Grand Rapids PressAll about ADHD: "Distracted" is a play exploring the challenges of parenting a child with attention deficit hyperactive disorder. Cast members are back row from left, Ellie Gramer, Jon Clausen and Jennifer Jelsema. Seated are Mike Frankey and Elena Turkel.

That’s one of the challenges Fred Sebulske faces in directing “Distracted,” the latest offering from Actors’ Theatre.

“Part of the play is to immerse the audience in the experience of feeling distracted, so we’ll have lots of media popping up on the screen,” Sebulske said. “But you have to find a balance between getting the audience’s attention and distracting them at the same time.”

Written by Lisa Loomer and presented off-Broadway in 2009, “Distracted” is the story of a family whose 9-year-old son is acting out, refuses to go to bed at night and is disruptive at school.

“Every parent deals with this to some extent, but this is to the point where they think there may be a real problem,” Sebulske said.

The parents are inundated with solutions from teachers, therapists and friends ranging from pills to diet, biofeedback and homeopathic treatments.

“It’s told from the point of view of the mother,” Sebulske said. “She knows the audience is there and uses them as a sounding board. She always has someone to talk to.”

Sebulske said he’s been amazed to learn how prevalent attention deficit hyperactive disorder is. Many of the people he has worked with for years have come forward to tell him that they have been diagnosed with the disorder and are taking Ritalin, a drug often prescribed for the condition. ()

You can read more about the show and the rest of the article by clicking here to go to

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Press Release: Actors’ Theatre Presents the West Michigan Premier of “Distracted”

On December 2nd, 2010 Actor’s Theatre Grand Rapids is proud to present the West Michigan premiere of Distracted, an hilarious comedy by Lisa Loomer that explores the roller coaster world of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

Distracted is a poignant and provocative comedy that displays one family on a wild journey into the ADHD spectrum. The play centers around the life of nine-year-old Jesse, who can’t sit still, raps, and hates getting in and out of his pajamas. Jesse’s family encounters teachers, doctors, psychiatrists and neighbors who all give their opinions on how to treat Jesse’s “problem.” On her chaotic ride through homeopathy, medication, biofeedback and more, Mom finds herself caught in a world, moving way too fast, with a son who moves even faster. Watching the lives of these quirky, yet all too familiar, characters unfold, we are forced to ask the question:

“Are we so turned into our world that we’ve tuned out what really matters?”

Fred Sebulske, founder of Actors’ Theatre and the director of the production, has this to say about the west Michigan premiere:

“I love this play. What I love most is that it treats the subject seriously and yet it is full of laughter that comes from the “theatricality” of the play itself. So, a funny, funny play about a serious subject! For me, the best kind of storytelling.”

Distracted, a comedy by Lisa Loomer, will be presented at Spectrum Theatre (160 Fountain Street NE) on December 2, 2010 through December 11, 2010. Performances will be at 8:00PM and will include a post-performance discussion on Friday, December 3 with the audience. Individual tickets sales will begin on November 22nd and are $24 for adults/$20 for students and seniors.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Spectrum Theater Box Office at (616) 234-3817.

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Actors’ Welcomes Interim Staff for 30th Season

Following the departure of former Managing Director Kyle Amanda Dutkiewicz on May 14th, 2010, Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids is pleased to welcome the following individuals who have assumed interim responsibilities for the business of the theater:

Chris Carnevale has assumed the responsibilities of Interim Director of Operations. Chris brings a diverse background and range of community theatre experience to his role as Interim Director of Operations. In the past 20 years Chris’ involvement with Grand Rapids theatre includes both work and performing for all area theatre groups, as well as Opera Grand Rapids.

Prior to beginning his responsibilities at Actors, Chris served as volunteer managing director for Heritage Theatre Group (HTG) where he took on the task of organizing and running that theatre company – with great success. In addition to his work at Actors’, Chris also is the office manager for MP Talent Agency as well as the assistant to the Executive Director of Kids Food Basket.

Jonathan Clausen has assumed the responsibilities of Interim Director of Development and Marketing.  Jon brings a diverse background in the arts, as well as business, to his role at Actors’ Theatre. Prior to assuming his current position with Actors’, in May of 2010, he served as an actor, director for the Ten-Minute Play festival Living on the Edge, and as an office volunteer for the theater.

Jon has performed locally for a number of theaters, in addition to his involvement in over 30 theatrical productions outside of the Grand Rapids area. Originally from South Dakota, he attended South Dakota State University, The Theatre School at DePaul University  and Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.  Jon’s prior business experience includes a variety of leadership positions over a 14 year period with a Fortune 100 retailer as well as serving as President of an Internet Software Development company.  He was most recently seen at Actors’ in the title role of the 2010 production of Mr. Marmalade.

Actors’ would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all who expressed interest and who applied for these positions.  We continue to appreciate our patrons and supporters for their ongoing commitment to the theater and its mission.

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

We believe in the inclusion of all.

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Season Announcement in The Grand Rapids Press

The Grand Rapids Press published a recent article about next season at Actors’ Theatre.  Be sure and read the complete article on

Actors’ Theatre announces lineup for 30th season in Grand Rapids
By Sue Merrell | The Grand Rapids Press
May 17, 2010, 6:48AM

Actors’ Theatre will enter its 30th season in September without a managing director.

Kyle Dutkiewicz, who has been managing director since founder Fred Sebulske stepped down three years ago, announced earlier this year that she was resigning at the end of the season. Her last day was Friday.

The board has decided to hire two part-time, interim employees to handle marketing and operations for the next six months while deciding what direction the organization should take.

“It’s time to step back and regroup,” said immediate past board president Maureen Kirkwood. “Before we just rehire the same position, we need to decide where we are going. Because of the economy and the changing face of Grand Rapids, we need to decide where we fit.”

Nevertheless, Kirkwood said she is excited about the upcoming season, which was announced last week before performances of “The Drawer Boy.” She calls it the “triple x” season covering “sex, drugs and chamber music.”

Read the rest of the article with the season announcement on The Grand Rapids Press at

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Actors’ Theatre in the Grand Rapids Press

The Drawer Boy will end the Actors’ Theatre season on a sweet note.

By Sue Merrell | The Grand Rapids Press

Actors' Theatre production of "Drawer Boy." From left Dylan Harris as 'Miles', Greg Rogers as 'Angus' and G.M. Bud Thompson as 'Morgan'.(Photo credit: T.J. Hamilton | The Grand Rapids Press)

May 09, 2010, 8:50AM

“After all the angst of this year’s shows, it’s just a sweet play about two old farmers,” said director Fred Sebulske.

“Knowing the reputation of Actors’, people are going to come in expecting something darker and more complicated. It is complicated, but I hope people will go away with the idea that what has happened is something noble.”

First of all, “The Drawer Boy” is not the story of a boy hidden in a chest of drawers. The title refers to one of the farmers who liked to draw when he was a boy. But there is something hidden that will be uncovered during the course of the play…

Be sure and read the rest of the article, here on

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