The Penny Seats Theatre Company in Ann Arbor Receives Grant

The Penny Seats Theatre Company is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded a grant of $2403 from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). The grant was awarded through the MCACA peer review process and was one of 428 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2014 funding.

"This minigrant will make a huge difference for us," said company President Lauren London. "We have a very tiny budget-even for an arts organization-and rely solely on donations to fund our performances. This grant will ensure that we can take advantage of some fabulous City spaces for rehearsals and performances, and channel our hard-earned private donations toward other artistic areas of our production. We couldn't be more grateful to the MCACA."
Organizations receiving an MCACA grant award are required to match those funds with other public and private dollars, so private donations to the company are more important than ever. (See for more on how to donate.) The Penny Seats also receives significant volunteer support from the community, including board members Kelly and Matt Cameron of Livonia, Victoria Gilbert of Ypsilanti, and Bridget Bly, Zach London, Sean Murphy, and Russell Schwartz of Ann Arbor. On the group's volunteer staff, London is joined by Technical Director Sean Murphy, Marketing Director JP Hitesman, and Development Director Ellen Butler Lawson.

The MCACA grant will pay the group's rent for rehearsal and performance space for next summer's production of Elektra at Ann Arbor's West Park Band Shell. The company plans to use a translation written by former University of Michigan faculty member Anne Carson. This production will be The Penny Seats' fourth summer in residence at West Park, with plans to continue to maintain a dinner-and-theatre experience at the site. As well, the production will debut a new approach to staging at the park making greater use of the surrounding area beyond the band shell. Performances will occur throughout July, 2014.

The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences.

A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241-4011, or by visiting the MCACA website at For more information about The Penny Seats, visit

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