By Sandra McNeill

FERNDALE (WWJ) He’s learning on the fly, but Detroit Area Theater Company founder Eric Swanson is calling the company’s first year a success.

Swanson says they put on four shows including “Cabaret” and “Into the Woods,” but had to find a new home at the end of the year because the rent at their large Pontiac venue became too high. And he didn’t want to let one of the few independent theater companies in metro Detroit go down without a fight.


“First year down, and I would say it’s a huge success,” Swanson said.

But it hasn’t been easy.

“It’s a struggle, there is no class on running a theater company,” he said.

He said he plans to “learn by experience and from people ‘smarter than him,'” about running a newly successful theater company.

This year, the DATC will put on a concert version of “Rent” in March at the new home at the Methodist Church in Ferndale, a cozy space that seats 180. Auditions will take place at the church on January 15.

“We’re seeking people who are strong singers, strong actors, people who feel they are close to the material … who are passionate about theater, maybe about the actual show ‘Rent,'” Swanson said.



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