Tag Archives: Press Release

Actors’ Theatre Proudly Presents the Tony Award Winning Musical: “Spring Awakening”

In December, Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids is proud to present the Grand Rapids premiere of Spring Awakening, a musical based on the controversial 1892 play by Frank Wedekind.   With stirring music written by recording artist Duncan Sheik and poignant, poetic lyrics by Steven Sater, audiences throughout West Michigan will not want to miss this original staging by veteran director (and Actors’ Theatre founder) Fred Sebulske.  Instrumental and vocal music direction is in the capable, award-winning hands of Scott Patrick Bell.  Spring Awakening will be presented on December 1-17, 2011 at GRCC Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids. All currently scheduled performances begin at 8:00PM.   Additional performances may be added as demand and availability permit.

Spring Awakening takes place in Germany, 1891, where parents still know best and sex is a societal taboo. Spring Awakening celebrates a group of teenagers’ unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood. In its Broadway debut and subsequent tours, Spring Awakening was the recipient of 8 TONY Awards, including Best Musical, as well as four Drama Desk awards and four Olivier awards (London premiere).

With its hard-charging score and frank lyrics, Spring Awakening tackles young love, life, and expectations in a bygone era – or is it?  Audiences should note that Spring Awakening contains adult themes, situations and language.  It is intended for mature audiences.

Tickets are available for sale online now at www.atgr.org/spring-awakening and will be available beginning November 14th through the Spectrum Theater Box Office by calling (616) 234-3946.

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Coming in January – OPUS

Press Release:


Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids will present the West Michigan premiere of Opus by Michael Hollinger. Opus will be presented on January 27-29 and February 3-5, 2011 at GRCC Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids. All performances are at 8:00PM.

Michael Hollinger, a former concert violist, now playwright, wrote this quick-witted and insightful play about a world-class string quartet breaking apart as their biggest break-through arrives. As they struggle to prepare for their biggest performance to date, the world-class Lazara String Quartet decides to fire their brilliant, yet mercurial, violist. When a young woman is hired as the replacement, her gifts inspire them to attempt a musical feat of epic proportions. Their rehearsal room becomes a pressure cooker as passions rise, personalities clash.

Opus is directed by Jeralyn Pinsky, who had this to say about the play:

“On a personal level, quite simply, I fell in love with the play. Opus is a witty, beautiful play with bright characters, interesting relationships and, of course, dramatic conflicts – though I don’t want to give too much away… Opus is wonderfully entertaining theatre!”

Opus features an award-winning cast of veteran stage actors including Greg Rogers (The Drawer BoyWell), Ralph Lister (Frozen), Michael Smolinksi and Steven J Anderson. Aquinas college alumni Lauren Greer will make her Actors’ theatre debut in the role of Grace. Diane McElfish Helle, violinist for the Grand Rapids Symphony and second violinist for the Perugino String Quartet is serving as musical advisor to the production.

Individual tickets sales will begin on January 17, 2011 and are $24 for adults/$20 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased at the Spectrum Theater Box Office by calling (616) 234-3946 or online at www.atgr.org.


Actors’ Theatre Company was founded in 1980 by a group of West Michigan actors, led by Professor Fred Sebulske, then Chair of the theatre program at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). This company chose a purpose of staging productions that were not available to the community of Greater Grand Rapids due to reasons of complexity, the controversial nature of the subjects, and/or their limited mass appeal.

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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Actors’ Theatre Announces Changes on the Horizon

Kyle Amanda Dutkiewicz will resign as Managing Director of Actors’ Theatre at the end of their 2009-2010 season.

“It has been an honor to see the mission of Actors’ Theatre move forward and to be at the forefront of projects such as Seven Passages and our collaborations with the Grand Rapids Community College. The work done at Actors’ makes an impact on our community and allows our audiences to be challenged with thought-provoking theater that promotes dialogue and also entertains. I look forward to continuing my support of Actors’ Theatre in the years to come as a patron, donor and artistic collaborator. On May 14, 2010, I will resign as Managing Director to explore new career opportunities. I look forward to the exciting transition ahead both for Actors’ Theatre and myself.”
– Kyle Amanda Dutkiewicz

“Kyle has done an excellent job in her three years leading Actors’ through difficult economic times.  Her organizational skills have kept the theatre on a steady course as it has faced continuing challenges to keep ticket costs low and keeping “off-Broadway” theatre alive and well in West Michigan.   The quality of the productions has remained high and the adherence to the mission of the theatre during her tenure has never wavered. These are challenging times for theatres in Michigan and her leadership during this time has made Actors’ Theatre stronger and more committed to its future. I am sure that her future career will be a bright one and I wish her well in the new challenges she seeks.”
– Fred Sebulske, Founder of Actors’ Theatre

“Kyle’s tenure at Actors’ Theatre has helped us grow in many ways.  We will miss her thoughtful stewardship, enthusiastic creativity, and unending energy she invested these last three years.  During these extremely challenging economic times, she has moved the theatre forward in terms of professionalism, organization, and artistic excellence. We wish her nothing but the best in all of her future endeavors.”
– Lisa Baars, Board President

The Board of Actors’ Theatre will take the mission forward that began with Fred Sebulske and continued with Kyle Amanda Dutkiewicz, bringing our community the best in entertaining, innovative, challenging and thought-provoking theatre. We believe in the inclusion of all.

Actors’ Theatre 29th Season

TopDog/Underdog, September 24- October 3
Frozen, December 3- December 12
Mr. Marmalade, January 28- February 6
The Little Dog Laughed, March 18- March 27
The Drawer Boy, May 13- May 22

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Feeling Creative? Living on The Edge VII

This year marks the seventh edition of Actors’ Theatre’s 10 minute play festival, Living on the Edge and, once again, we are inviting all interested writers to submit a script for consideration.

The deadline for scripts will be February 8, 2010. The Actors’ Theatre Living on the Edge committee will read all scripts and select fifteen that will be read at a public reading on March 20, 2010. All writers whose pieces are not selected to be read at the public reading will receive written feedback from the Living on the Edge committee by February 23, 2010. The reading of the fifteen scripts presented on March 20, 2010 will begin at 10:00 AM at the Spectrum Theater. At the public reading playwrights will receive 5 minutes of verbal feedback on their piece. Then the Living on the Edge committee will choose five finalists from the plays read at the public reading which will be presented in full production in June 2010 in the “black box” performance space (Room 201 – Spectrum Theater Building).

The writers whose scripts are chosen for final production will receive $100. Everyone who submits a script for consideration will receive two complimentary tickets to any show for Actors’ 2010-2011 Season. The theme this year that writers are asked to respond to is Making Art/Making Money. Be sure to always keep in mind that the five scripts chosen will be performed before an audience. We always encourage writers to create pieces that will be dynamic and engaging when presented by performers on stage. We’re excited to read your submission so take off in any direction that is productive for you as a writer to produce a 10 minute play highlighting some aspect of Making Art/Making Money and offering your insight on the subject.

Submit the play by email to Kyle Amanda Dutkiewicz, Actors’ Managing Director or by U.S. mail to Actors’ Theatre / 143 Bostwick NE / Grand Rapids, MI, 49503 on or before February 8, 2009. All submissions must include a cover page that lists your name, address, phone number, email, title of play, total number of actors and a brief synopsis of the work. Please do not list your name on any page other than your cover so that all plays may be read with anonymity by the committee. Final production decisions will be based on originality, ability to cast and produce, and the way the plays chosen fit together for an evening of theatre.

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. 

A few helpful hints as you write…

1) Plays are active. Characters must take stagable actions to achieve their goals. It is extraordinarily difficult to write a play starting from a “theme” or “moral”. Think in terms of characters and the actions they take and you’ll be likely to avoid writing an essay on stage.

2) Feel free to spin off from “Making Art/Making Money” in any way you like. Your play may obviously address this theme or only make sense to you. Remember that we are looking for a variety of genres: drama, comedy, farce, mystery, etc. Even musical!

3) Don’t try to write a two-act play in ten minutes. Focus on one event, one change of heart, one important moment. Read other published and successful ten minute plays to get a sense of the art form.

Look for more information on the public reading for the Living on The Edge series here on the newsletter and on the Actors’ Facebook page.

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Actors’ Theatre Presents Frozen by Bryony Lavery

Frozen by Bryany Lavery December 3, 4 & 5 and December 10, 11 & 12

Frozen is ultimately a play about the nature of forgiveness.  It asks the question, “How far can forgiveness and grace extend?”  When a victim of a violent crime is confronted with this question and possibility, we get a glimpse into the meaning of such grace, even though the outcomes are completely unexpected. ~ Stephanie Sandberg: Director

Nancy, a mother, retreats into a state of frozen hope when one evening her ten-year old Rhona goes missing. Agnetha, an academic, comes to England to research a thesis titled “Serial Killings: A Forgivable Act?” Then there’s Ralph, a loner with a bit of a record who’s looking for some distraction… Drawn together by horrific circumstances, these three embark upon a long, dark journey that finally curves upward into the light in this “big, brave, compassionate play about grief, revenge, forgiveness, and bearing the unbearable” (The Guardian).

The cast of Frozen includes Actors’ Theatre veterans Kitty Carpenter, Ralph Lister and Rebecca Monterusso and new to our stage Steve VanderZee. The production staff of Frozen includes director Stephanie Sandberg, stage manager Jessie Leugs, assistant stage manager Kim Contreraz, set and lighting designer David Leugs, properties designer Leslie Kohn, sound designer Steve Nardin, dialect coach Elizabeth Terrel and costume designer Heather Brown.

Sandberg states “serial killing is the most unimaginable, perhaps the most unforgivable of crimes and yet we are asked to examine whether or not grace and forgiveness can heal such violence and the pain it causes.”

Tickets range from $22.00 for adults to $9.00 for student rush tickets an hour prior to performances.  For 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, November 16, 2009 at noon for season ticket holders and on Monday, November 23, 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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