Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Detroit Public Theatre Presents Sex with Strangers

Detroit has a booming artistic community. We have become a mecca for young artists who want to find themselves, make a change, and do something different. The art "scene" in Detroit is in its early stages, but it is growing faster than we ever imagined. There is a new gallery, venue, play, or event to attend every day of the week! 

One of the city's latest editions is the Detroit Public Theatre, which opened its doors last May. A small community of live theatre lovers came together to create a place where actors, directors and playwrights could come together to create something magical. They are currently running Sex with Strangers which "examines social identity and how we define ourselves as artists and humans".

We wanted to find out more about the theatre and the current play so we reached out to the director of the theatre Courtney Burkett and the director of the play Frannie Shepherd-Bates to learn more about what they are doing. Check out what they had to say and then visit their website to purchase tickets to one of their upcoming shows. We want to see this theatre flourish so they can continue to bring more live theatre to Detroit! In fact, we already have our tickets reserved for the next play Detroit '67.  

HID- How did the Detroit Public Theatre get started? 
CB- "A group of theatre artists and administrators, Sarah Winkler a recent transplant from New York, Courtney Burkett a lifelong Detroiter and Michigander Sarah Clare Corporandy who was living and working in NYC at the time, identified the need for a professional regional theatre in the city of Detroit. Then we got busy building it."

HID-When did you officially open your doors? 
CB- "Our first production American Hero opened October 30, 2015. We are a brand new company."

HID- How do you fund the theater? 
CB- "The theatre is funded by a variety of sources. Earned income from ticket and event sales, contributions from generous visionary donors who are invested in building and sustaining a new strong cultural institution in Detroit, and we also receive support from corporations, foundations, and the State of Michigan ."

HID- How were the actors chosen for this play?
FSB- "We held auditions for the play and cast the two people who were the best fits. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means, but we wound up with two actors who have terrific chemistry and are knocking it out of the park!"

HID- Why did you want to direct this play?
FSB- "I absolutely love this play. It’s a great story that is very well written, and it makes some great points about how our identity is defined, especially in a digital age."

HID- Do people get naked on stage?
FSB- "Not completely! The play is definitely not PG-rated, but we tried not to do anything gratuitous, either. It’s a tough balance to strike, but I think we did it!"

HID- How many different plays does the theatre plan to host each year?
CB- "We will produce four shows - three plays and one musical each season."

HID- How can the public get involved and help the theater continue to thrive?
CB- "Buy tickets and come see shows! Tell people about us, follow us on social media. You can also volunteer to usher and check our website for other opportunities to get involved!"

HID- What will the next show be? 
CB- "Detroit '67 by native Detroit playwright Dominique Morriseau"

HID- Do you ever act or do you always direct?
FSB- "I’m a trained actor, but I rarely act anymore. It’s a special treat when I get to do it! Acting is a lot of fun, but I find directing to be generally more fulfilling."

HID- What is special about Detroit theatre?
CB- "Detroit is a special place. There is no place else on earth quite like it - and that is becoming more and more rare these days as many places become more homogenized Detroit remains very distinct. And so the theatre that is created within this city, and about this city, and for this city is also distinct and special."

HID- Is there anything else you would like our readers to know? CB- "Sex With Strangers runs through April 3, Detroit '67 opens May 15 and runs through June 5th. Come to the theatre - you'll love it!"

For tickets visit or call 313-576-5111.


No comments:

Post a Comment