It’s long been claimed that Michigan is home to more amateur theater groups than any other state in America. After all, pretty much every town has a community theater of its own, and many cities sponsor civic theater programs. Below you’ll find a select listing of Southeast Michigan’s best known amateur groups. But remember, many others are only a short distance away! –Donald V. Calamia,


Ann Arbor Civic Theatre

322 W. Ann St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 971-2228

Ann Arbor Civic Theatre exists to provide opportunities for the members of the community to participate in live theater. Founded in 1929 as the Civic Amateur Theatre , A2CT values and promotes creative excellence and personal artistic growth through presentation of quality theater performances for the community, open invitation for participation in all aspects of theatrical production, and development of talent through education, apprenticeships and performance opportunities. A2CT performs a full season of adult and family-oriented shows in various venues throughout Ann Arbor, including its own intimate downtown studio theater space.


Farmington Players

32332 West Twelve Mile Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
(248) 553-2955

The Farmington Players began in 1953 as an off-shoot of the American Association of University Women. From there, a more formal designation as the Farmington Players soon took hold. The current theater, which opened in winter 2003, was designed to mimic the barn atmosphere and heritage provided by its “original” dairy barn facility. This first barn was the troupe’s home for more than 40 years. Now, the tradition continues in an all-new, state-of-the-art barn – just as recognizable, but infinitely more comfortable for everyone.


Grosse Pointe Theatre

Performs at Fries Auditorium at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial
32 Lakeshore Drive
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236
(313) 881-4004

In 1947 and 1948, Grosse Pointe Theatre’s founder, the late Russel Werneken, went door-to-door to secure funds to create a community theater for Grosse Pointe area residents that offered close-to-home, quality theatrical productions. Now, more than 60 years later, from a humble nucleus of 38 charter members who had faith in Russ’ vision, Grosse Pointe Theatre has grown in membership to almost 450 people of all ages, from all walks of life, and from all parts of the greater Detroit metropolitan area. Community programs include the annual awarding of theatrical scholarships to deserving high school students to be used for college or training classes; professionally mentored workshops open to all who are interested in the theatrical arts; a Youth on Stage program for children ages 8 to 14; and entertainment at various community events through two outreach programs.


Players Guild of Dearborn

21730 Madison
Dearborn, MI 48124
(313) 561-8587

The Players Guild of Dearborn was organized in 1927 after a University of Michigan alumnae group and the Men’s Club of Christ Episcopal Church had cooperated in the production of a play to raise funds for the construction of the Women’s League building on the Ann Arbor campus. Members of both organizations formed the nucleus of the Guild. After more than 70 years in Dearborn, the Guild has become a fixture in the community. Many of the patrons have been coming to productions for decades. A few members have been active in the Guild for more than 40 years. Longevity of its members is what gives the Guild its rich history. And their collective experience makes it possible to create quality performances year after year.


St. Dunstan’s Theatre Guild of Cranbrook

400 Lone Pine Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
(248) 737-3587

St. Dunstan’s Theatre Guild of Cranbrook is an independent, non-profit organization committed to producing quality theater in the community. Not coincidentally, the group is named for St. Dunstan, patron saint of the arts – a legacy carried on through the loyal support of its members and audiences. Every member of St. Dunstan’s is a volunteer. Onstage and off, everyone shares a love of theater and a commitment to their “home away from home.” The indoor theater, the Pavilion, was originally built as an open air shelter to the outdoor Greek Theatre. Ultimately, the Pavilion was transformed into a more practical building. In 1932, St. Dunstan’s was granted use of the Pavilion as its permanent home. Doing much of the work themselves, St. Dunstan’s has turned this once-empty building into a working theater and home to one of the premier amateur theaters in southeast Michigan.



Performs at the Baldwin Theatre
415 S. Lafayette Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 541-6430

Stagecrafters brings exciting and fresh entertainment to Southeast Michigan. With affordable ticket prices, a 50-plus year history of quality productions and a great location in downtown Royal Oak, Stagecrafters has something for everyone. The Main Stage plays host to popular Broadway plays and musicals. 2nd Stage, a black-box studio theater, presents contemporary and off-Broadway shows. Stagecrafters Youth Theatre offers fun, wholesome entertainment for youth by youth. Consistently voted one of the top five best theater groups in the area, prepare to be amazed at the selection of shows, youth improv classes, and special events offered. Stagecrafters makes its home at the Baldwin Theatre, a beautifully-restored former vaudeville playhouse built in 1922.


The Village Players of Birmingham

34660 Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009
(248) 644-2075

The Village Players of Birmingham is the third oldest community theater in Michigan and ranks among the 50 oldest theater groups in the United States. The Village Players of Birmingham was formally organized in February 1923 with a charter group of 16 members. By 1926, the members’ desire for a suitable building with basic theatrical prompted the purchase of the property on which the club building now stands. Today, The Village Players offers five first-rate Broadway-type shows during the regular season.

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