Kickshaw Theatre Launches in Ann Arbor
Southeast Michigan's vibrant theatre scene is about to get another player. Kickshaw Theatre, a new nonprofit professional regional theatre is set to make Ann Arbor its home. The brainchild of veteran theatre professionals Julia Glander (Ann Arbor) and Lynn Lammers (Lansing), Kickshaw Theatre is slated to debut their first production in the fall of 2015. The founding company members include Julia Glander (Executive Director), Lynn Lammers (Artistic Director), Jane Griffith (General Manager), and Janice Glander (Development Consultant).
Kickshaw will be known for uncommon stories and stylistic daring. Lammers explains, "We invite our audience to bring their curiosity. We believe that one's perception of the world is one's reality, and by expanding that perception through storytelling, we challenge our previously held assumptions." Kickshaw Theatre intends to produce the hidden gems, including new plays that aren't getting the attention they deserve as well as older plays that have been historically overlooked despite their brilliance.
Kickshaw has filed the 501(c)3 paperwork, articles of incorporation and is in the process of choosing the perfect play for their first production. Once finalized, they will begin exploring possible spaces in Ann Arbor and enter into an agreement with Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers. Committed to fostering deep connections within the community, Kickshaw has begun reaching out to curious arts enthusiasts and community members through a series of intimate gatherings, and the formation of a "connectivity committee" to reach out to previously underrepresented audiences. Lammers stresses the importance of connectivity, "It is essential to deepen our audience's connection to the work, to build relationships and remove barriers to participation in theatre."
And the name? After months of searching for the perfect name, the founders stumbled upon "kickshaw" in the thesaurus. From the French word quelque chose meaning "something," it also has culinary origins and can be found in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II, "a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws, tell William Cook." Glander says, "it was
the definition of something considered a rare delight or something choice to eat that seemed to be our perfect choice of name."