The Penny Seats Theatre Announces Residency At Stone Chalet Bed And Breakfast Inn And Event Center
The Penny Seats Theatre Company is proud to announce that it will take up residency at Stone Chalet Bed and Breakfast Inn and Event Center on Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor. Beginning in 2020, the Inn's Event Center will house all Penny Seats work, including rehearsals and performances throughout the year, with the exception of the group's annual summer outdoor shows in Ann Arbor's West Park.
Both the theatre company and the inn expressed excitement at the forthcoming partnership. Penny Seats Executive Director Lauren London said this relationship is one the group has wanted for some time. "It's a dream partnership for us, to be sure," said London. "The Inn's Event Center has everything we could want in a performance space: a welcoming, open area, beautiful staging and technical facilities, the potential for variation among our event options, a flexible, spacious rehearsal and prep area, and-most importantly--the kind of hospitality and enthusiasm that is hard to come by nowadays."
London called the inn "an ideal indoor home" for the group. The fact that the space is attached to a Bed and Breakfast adds another layer of interest. "We hope there will be a fair bit of cross-interest between the theatre and the hotel," she noted. "Stone Chalet has an old-world charm, exquisite décor, an engaging history, and a homey feel that make it an ideal destination in town. We can't wait for our patrons to experience it," she said.
Stone Chalet owner Lana Hawkins cited the partnership as a significant community-building step for the inn. "We are fired up about this, and delighted to have The Penny Seats join us. Stone Chalet was intended as a center for the community in this neighborhood, and we are excited to have it serve that purpose for The Penny Seats. We want to share this space with people, and this relationship allows that to happen."
The Penny Seats' 2020 season at Stone Chalet will begin with a two-night play-reading festival on February 29 and March 1. Entitled "One Day More," the leap-day play festival features works by local Michigan playwrights, read by regional favorite actors.
Next, the Penny Seats' 10th Anniversary Gala is set for April 18, 2020. The Gala is a one-night-only, not-to-be-missed event at Stone Chalet, featuring performances from many of the group's best-loved artists and musicians. It will also feature a silent auction, fun activities, and delicious food and drink. Guests will get a preview of many of the plans the group intends to implement at Stone Chalet.
Then, returning to its perennial summer home in West Park, The Penny Seats' summer musical will be Roger Bean's Summer of Love. When a runaway bride discovers the countercultural revolution of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco, the hippies and dropouts of Golden Gate Park teach her to "Make Your Own Kind of Music!" With such hits as "Crystal Blue Persuasion," "War," "One Tin Soldier," "Piece Of My Heart," "Spinning Wheel," and, of course, "San Francisco," this trip down memory lane explores the meaning of freedom and finding love in the most unexpected places. The show will play at West Park, July 9 - August 1.
October will see the group back at Stone Chalet for the third annual installment of its Penny Dreadfuls Halloween series. Ripper, by Jacob Marx Rice, tracks a bold young female reporter through the dark alleys of Whitechapel as she investigates a series of murders. When she accidentally finds herself face to face with the killer, they begin an elaborate and deadly game of cat and mouse. Can she stop him and become famous in the process, or will he rip the city, and her, apart? Wickedly playful and deliciously terrifying, Ripper asks how far you're willing to go for the story of the century. A Michigan premiere!
Finally, the season will end with The Penny Seats' first ever holiday show. In December 2020, the group will present Joseph Zettelmaier's fairytale play The Winter Wolf, another Michigan premiere. On Christmas night in Cora's house she is visited by her beloved grandfather, a man of high spirits and failing health. They sit around the fireplace and she listens to the legend of the Winter Wolf, a strange creature who serves as Time's hunter, stalking those who are in the winter of their lives. That night, the wolf comes for Cora's grandfather, but the young girl manages to trap it. What follows is a magical journey through the mysteries of time, as Cora learns how we choose what to hold onto, and when to let go.
"This year, we celebrate 10 years of theatre at The Penny Seats," said London. "We can't think of a better way to launch our next decade than to establish a long-term relationship with Stone Chalet."
Tickets to the gala and all shows will be available at www.pennyseats.org.
Photo Credit: Erin Lauridsen