Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company to Close in July 2015

Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company to Close in July 2015

After providing opportunities for more than 200 actors, 27 directors, 14 designers, 29 local playwrights; facilitating 36 staged readings over six festivals; mounting a speakeasy night; helping to transform a vacant parking lot; beginning a Shakespeare in Prison program; and mounting plays featuring everything from dead dogs, to soldiers' ghosts, to Mall Madness, to saints, to murderers, to protestors, to politicians, to lovers, to cynics; Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company will wind down with just two programs this season and finally find an exit in July 2015.

Bolstered by a recent successful crowd funding campaign, Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company will continue its impactful Shakespeare in Prison program at Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility. Inmates will continue to become empowered through theatre exercises and Shakespearean text to think creatively, re-examine decisions they've made, become more in touch with their emotions, and develop crucial life skills to be used both in and out of prison. The program will run its fourth session from September 2014-June 2015 and will find a new parent company or fiscal sponsor thereafter. More information about Shakespeare in Prison, including a regularly updated blog, can be found at

This fall will see the company's final mounted project, a staged reading of novel-in-the-works To Save One, by New York author Elizabeth Dembrowsky. To Save One explores the story of an American-born woman and a Romanian-born man who meet in New York, fall in love, want to get married, but have to convince the American government to let them spend the rest of their lives together in the United States. But the story is not just about one couple, or one train of thought, or one country, it is about everyone's love, all of our needs, and the hope that grit and hard work will eventually win out. The staged reading will be directed by Associate Artistic Director Matthew Turner Shelton and will take place on October 8, 2014, at Matrix Theatre Company in southwest Detroit.

Co-founder and Executive Artistic Director Frannie Shepherd-Bates will resign from her staff position and continue on as director of Shakespeare in Prison in July 2014. "We've had a great run," says Shepherd-Bates. "I'm so proud of what we've been able to accomplish together since our first production in 2008. We've gone from a rag tag team of young, starry-eyed artists to a well-regarded non-profit theatre whose impact has been felt throughout the community. The transformation in the theatre community since we began has been profound; so many new companies have sprung up! It is time for us to close up shop as a company, but we as individual artists and champions of theatre will still be around - have no doubts about it."

The Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company is a nonprofit organization that acts to eliminate apathy, violence, prejudice and barriers to education through theatre productions, projects and programs; and further acts to reestablish and expand Detroit's theatre community.

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