(East Lansing, MI – April 30, 2015) The Friends of Theatre at Michigan State University will celebrate the opening of the new Summer Circle Courtyard with a gala event on Tuesday, June 9, at 6 p.m., at Fairchild Theatre and the new Courtyard. The evening’s events will include food and wine, a live auction and raffle and a private performance of the first play in the Summer Circle season, “Mr. Burns, a post-electric play.” The opening of the play the following night will mark the beginning of the 55th season of free summer theatre at MSU.
Tickets for the event are $40 and available online at www.theatre.msu.edu (click on Buy Tickets to the Friends of Theatre Gala 2015) or by calling517-355-6691.
Guests will enjoy food from Woody’s Oasis and wine on the Fairchild stage before moving to the Courtyard for dessert, coffee and the play.
Tony Caselli, Artistic Director of Williamston Theatre, will be the evening’s emcee. Among the auction items up for bid will be a stay with breakfast at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, a sculpture by Mark Chatterley, and tickets to regional theatres. Joshua Davis, who appears in the Spring 2015 season of “The Voice” and is a theatre department alum, has donated a “house party” performance where the lucky bidder can invite guests to their home and the singer will perform.
The Summer Circle Courtyard was completed last fall after a significant fundraising effort from MSU Friends of Theatre raising more than $100,000 toward the outdoor stage, located on the courtyard between Fairchild Theatre and Kresge Art Center. The new space will offer patrons an accessible space that should be dryer in damp weather with fewer mosquitoes. While the courtyard provides ample seating, those who choose to bring their own chairs, blankets and picnics will still find plenty of space to do so.
Summer Circle Theatre provides free performances for the mid-Michigan and university community at the space during the month of June with a selection of five plays, including a musical and children’s theatre production. This season’s productions are dedicated to its founders and key supporters of Summer Circle’s past including former Department of heater faculty and administrators Frank C. Rutledge, John Baldwin, Gretel Geist-Rutledge, Dixie Durr and George F. Peters.
Proceeds from the event will help fund student fellowships for the Summer Circle Theatre Company. In addition, event sponsorships are available from $250, with additional credits as “Show Sponsor,” “Actor/Designer/Manager/Technician Named Fellowships” and “Season Sponsor” at levels up to $3,000.
“This is Friends of Theatre’s sixth gala supporting Summer Circle Theatre,” says Jacqueline Babcock, president of the organization. “Each year we pick a target area requiring financial support as the focus for our spring event. Helping to ensure free theatre for those who enjoy it and want to expose their children to live theatre is important to those of us who love the arts. By supporting student artists of Summer Circle, we can help the Department of Theatre continue this mission.”
“It costs the MSU Department of Theatre more than $2,000 to pay for each Summer Circle performer, designer, manager or technician,” says department chairperson Kirk Domer. “In addition, costs are incurred for performance royalties, costumes and set design and even electricity. However, productions are made free to the community. Consequently, we rely on the support of Friends of Theatre and donations from individuals and businesses in the mid-Michigan region so we can sustain this cultural opportunity free for our audiences.”
The season of GREAT STORYTELLING is listed below. Performance dates and details are available at theatre.msu.edu/sct.
Businesses and individuals interested in sponsorship levels for the Friends of Theatre “Celebrate the Stage” gala may contact Joan Mattson firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTACT: Dionne O’Dell / 517-355-6691
MSU’s SUMMER CIRCLE 2015: GREAT STORYTELLING
In each play, storytelling changes lives…
in the NEW COURTYARD behind the Auditorium Building
Mr. Burns, a post electric play by Anne Washburn, Score by Michael Friedman, Lyrics by Anne Washburn (Rob Roznowski director/Dave Wendelberger Musical Director) play with music
In a post apocalyptic world an episode of “The Simpsons” could be the answer to humanity.
APPROPRIATE FOR 12 and up. 6/10-13 @ 8:00PM
The Book of Liz by David Sedaris and Amy Sedaris (Ann Folino White director)
Master storyteller David Sedaris and his comedic genius sister Amy tell the story of cheese ball-maker Liz.
APPROPRIATE FOR 8 and up. 6/17-6/20 @ 8:PM
The American Plan by Richard Greenberg (Mark Colson director)
A 1960s Catskill’s resort is the perfect setting for Lili to tell her “tales” in order to survive her overbearing mother.
APPROPRIATE FOR 13 and up. 6/24-27 @ 8:00 PM
Late Night: Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein (Paige Conway director)
Children’s author Shel Silverstein takes avery adult look at life.
APPROPRIATE FOR MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY 6/12, 6/13, 6/19, 6/20, 6/26, 6/27 following the mainstage show @approximately 10:00PM
Theatre for Young Audiences: The Tail of Peter Rabbit: New play by Rob Roznowski with music by Chelle Peterson. (Deric McNish director)
Beatrix Potter’s old tale/tail gets a makeover in this new play.
APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES 6/12, 6/13 6/19, 6/20, 6/26, 6/27 @ 6:30 PM