titled “Opening Up”
LANSING, Mich. – Peppermint Creek Theatre Company (PCTC) strives to produce theatre that addresses vital issues in our society and encourages dialogue. After over 18 months in quarantine, separated from each other and those we love, as our nation grapples with racism and equity, and as seemingly every national “topic” threatens to divide us, PCTC announces our 2021-2022 season of theatrical events titled ‘Opening Up’.
Throughout the upcoming season, PCTC offers five different events highlighting the season theme of “opening up”. And our creativity quotient has never been higher! We’ll produce a completely original event centered around letters and artifacts that will be mailed to patrons throughout the season. We’ll partner with four local libraries for a play “book club”. We’ll bring a true story from 1914 to life at five different community organizations. And we’ll be producing two musicals that place diversity center stage.
We are also debuting a new way of programming a season that focuses on three arms: main stage, community partnerships, and voices. This tri-fold approach to creating work for our audiences is at times brand new for us, and also very much in the DNA of what we've always believed about theatre: that it's for the community. This is how we define those three arms of our programming:
1. Main Stage – presenting thought-provoking live theatre on stage.
2. Community Partnerships – fostering authentic relationships with local organizations to deepen audience engagement through unique community experiences.
3. Voices – highlighting the unique stories of greater Lansing’s diverse community.
“It's been over a year and a half since we last came together in a shared theatre space to experience a performance. And so much has changed in our community and in our world in that short amount of time,” said Chad Swan-Badgero, Artistic Director of PCTC. “We're not the same theatre company we were in March 2020. This pause in producing has given us the chance to look at our mission statement and the way we do business and create a NEW way of thinking about how we produce theatre for our audiences. A new vision that's bold, different, more invested in our community, and true to what we set out to do when we first got started as a scrappy little theatre troupe back in 1995.”
“Opening Up: a community returns to the world” encourages the community to send in one-page letters describing a time in their life when they had to open up in some new or unexpected way and what they learned from the experience. PCTC will be highlighting one letter each month throughout the season to send participants in the mail, accompanied by an artifact that corresponds/helps deepen the experience of the story and may have a participatory element for participants. This theatrical event told in letters and artifacts is an effort to continue a dialogue around what opening up looks like, specifically after a global pandemic.
“Play Date: a theatre book club”, taking place November 1 – 4, will find PCTC partnering with four local libraries to explore the play Pipeline by world renown Detroit playwright Dominique Morisseau. Attendees will read the play independently and are then invited to come to any of the four libraries taking part in November for an evening to discuss the play, hear from a theatre panel, and a performance of a few scenes from the show.
“All Is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914”, playing December 7 – 11, recounts an astounding true moment in history when Allied and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate Christmas together, sharing food and drink, playing soccer, singing carols and burying each other’s dead. This dramatic re-telling weaves together firsthand accounts by 30 World War I soldiers with music including patriotic tunes, trench songs and Christmas carols. This performance will be presented free of charge at five different community locations around the Lansing region.
“Nina Simone: Four Women”, running February 24 – March 6, takes place In the aftermath of 1963’s 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Nina Simone rocked the nation with “Four Women,” her tribute in song to the four little girls lost in the tragedy, fueling the Civil Rights movement and transforming her public persona from songstress to activist. This provocative and personal musical journey celebrates Ms. Simone’s lasting legacy.
“Fun Home”, playing June 2 – 12, is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes, written by Lansing native, Lisa Kron. Based on the true story of Alison Bechdel, the musical relives Alison’s unique childhood playing at the family Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.
For more information about the season line-up, visit www.peppermintcreek.org. Those productions charging an admission fee will be done on an individual basis.