Best Professional Theatre In Washtenaw County

October 26, 2011 9:12 AM

Located west of Detroit and home of the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Eastern Michigan University Eagles, Washtenaw County boasts a wide array of recreational and entertainment choices – including Blackbird Theatre, The Encore Musical Theatre Company and more. Add numerous dining establishments into the mix, and the result is an exciting night of theater in Washtenaw County! – Donald V. Calamia,
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Blackbird Theatre

325 Braun Court
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 332-3848

The Blackbird Theatre began in 1998 as BlackBag Productions, an experimental company based in Ypsilanti. The Blackbird took on its new title and moved to Ann Arbor’s west side in 2003 for a seven-year residence at the Children’s Creative Center, where the two groups promoted Kidz In Need, a charity to help needy families receive quality child care. The charitable arm of the Blackbird Theatre is family-oriented, in sharp contrast to the edgy, innovative work that the company generates on stage. In the summer of 2010, the Blackbird moved to an intimate venue in Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown District, where it continues to produce a full season of original plays and innovative productions of the classics. In 2008, the company launched The Blackbird Theatre Arts Academy, a training program and production company for young people in the community.

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The Encore Musical Theatre Company

3126 Broad St.
Dexter, MI 48130
(734) 268-6200

The Encore Musical Theatre Company is a non-profit musical theater located in the historic Village of Dexter. A season of six classic and modern-day musicals is produced each year, featuring Broadway actors on stage with Michigan-based professionals and amateurs. The theater, founded in 2009 by Broadway actor Dan Cooney and Chelsea residents and business owners Anne and Paul Koch, offers quality talent and quality entertainment in an intimate setting at affordable prices. As a result, it has quickly become Southeast Michigan’s “go-to” destination for musical theater. The Encore also offers theatergoers a popular Concert Series and Cabaret Nights. And for children, the theater recently launched The Encore Musical Theatre Company Summer Program, which features separate programs for elementary, middle school and high school aged children taught by Broadway actors and local actors and teachers.

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Performance Network Theatre

120 East Huron St.
Ann Arbor, Mi 48104
(734) 663-0681

Founded in 1981, Performance Network Theatre has grown from a fledgling company to Ann Arbor’s only resident, professional theater. Providing uncompromising artistic leadership in the region and producing works that engage, challenge and inspire audiences and artists, the Network believes that excellence in the theatrical arts offers a unique and powerful way of summoning our community to think deeply, imagine boldly and care passionately in order to envision a better world. The Network reaches 40,000 patrons each year through its year-round Professional Series and its Children’s Theatre Network. The Network also presents the semi-annual Fireside Festival of New Works and a series of classes on theater-related topics. As the recipient of numerous awards and nominations over the past several years, the Network leads the region in artistic quality and play selection. Performance Network Theatre operates under a collective bargaining agreement with The Actors’ Equity Association regarding its employment of professional union-affiliated actors and stage managers.

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The Purple Rose Theatre Company

137 Park Street
Chelsea, MI 48118
(734) 433-7673

The Purple Rose Theatre Company is a leading American theater dedicated to producing the New American Play and creating opportunities for Midwest theater professionals. Founded in 1991 by acclaimed actor and Chelsea native Jeff Daniels, The Purple Rose is a creative home for theater artists to define our collective Midwestern voice. It is a place for emerging talent and seasoned professionals to learn more about and to practice their craft; and a place for patrons of the arts to laugh, cry, and perhaps even learn something new. Today, audiences travel as far as 90 miles or more to enjoy quality productions at affordable ticket prices in historic downtown Chelsea. We continue to actively promote the development of new American theater, provide valuable educational opportunities not available elsewhere, and earn the respect of the national theater community as well as our neighbors in Southeast Michigan. The Purple Rose Theatre Company operates under a collective bargaining agreement with The Actors’ Equity Association regarding its employment of professional union-affiliated actors and stage managers.

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