Oakland County's Newest Professional Theatre Company Opens its Doors in Walled Lake in April 2023

IAC will offer a range of educational and outreach programs, with in-person acting classes for adults and children also beginning in April 2023.

Oakland County's Newest Professional Theatre Company Opens its Doors in Walled Lake in April 2023

The arts scene in Oakland County is about to get a major boost with the grand opening of a new nonprofit, professional theatre in Walled Lake, Michigan. The Inspired Acting Company promises to bring high-quality live performances to the community as it prepares to open its doors to the public with its first of what will be a six-show Inaugural Season, consisting of American and World classics, electrifying musicals, and contemporary productions.

The Inspired Acting Company (IAC) was founded by West Bloomfield resident, Jeff Thomakos, who will serve as Producing Artistic Director of the theatre and will work with some of the region's most talented theatre artists who share a passion for bringing engaging and thought-provoking theatre to audiences. Thomakos and other IAC associates believe that live theatre has the power to connect people and communities, and they are committed to using their skills and resources to make a positive impact on the cultural landscape of Oakland County and beyond. Thomakos said, "People always need stories. If COVID taught us anything, it's our need to hear stories and be a part of a larger community. Theatre gives us both of those things."

In addition to its mainstage productions, IAC will offer a range of educational and outreach programs, with in-person acting classes for adults and children also beginning in April 2023.

"We are thrilled to be opening The Inspired Acting Company in Walled Lake," said Carrie McDonald Cook, one of the theatre's board members. "We believe that this community is hungry for high-quality theatre, and we are excited to be able to bring it to them. Jeff has assembled an amazing team of artists, and the company is looking forward to sharing their talents with the people of Walled Lake and beyond."

The Inspired Acting Company's Inaugural Season opens on April 21 with "Private Lives" by Noël Coward and runs through May 7, 2023. This classic comedy about the wisdom of second chances is one of the most stylish, witty, and humorous plays ever written. Ex-spouses, Elyot and Amanda, find themselves honeymooning with their new spouses, Sibyl and Victor, in adjacent hotel rooms. Unable to resist their passion for one another, they immediately run off together to Amanda's Parisian Apartment. Will their passion for each other last? Will their new spouses find them? Will Amanda's apartment survive? Find out in this comedy about passion, honeymoon etiquette, and the wisdom of rekindling old flames.

The season continues July 7 through July 23, 2023, with the Michigan premiere of "john & jen," a musical by Andrew Lippa & Tom Greenwald. This deeply-moving, intelligent, and truly original musical takes an intimate look at the complexities of familial relationships set to the backdrop of a changing America from the 1950s to the 1990s. Jen has two major relationships in her life, her brother and her son. Once extremely close, the Vietnam war tears Jen and brother John apart forever. Later, Jen names her only son John and tries to make up for past mistakes to the consternation and alienation of her son. Filled with wonderful music by Andrew Lippa ("The Addams Family," "Big Fish," "The Wild Party"), it's a story about connections, commitments, and the healing of the human heart.

September 29 through October 15, 2023, The Inspired Acting Company will present the Michigan Premiere of "Cadillac Crew" by Tori Sampson. The forgotten women leaders of the civil rights movement are remembered in this funny and powerful production. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, four female activists are preparing for an important speech by Rosa Parks in their Virginia office. As they make phone calls and paint signs, they begin to wonder whether the proclamation of equality amongst mankind includes womenkind as well. This funny, poignant, and insightful play reclaims the stories of the forgotten female leaders who blazed the trail for desegregation and women's rights and takes us right up to the present- day leaders who are still fighting for equal justice under the law.

"Talley's Folly," an American classic by Lanford Wilson, will be presented December 1 through December 17, 2023. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this classic American play takes place in a deserted boathouse in Lebanon, Missouri in 1944. Narrator and protagonist, Matt Friedman has come from St. Louis to profess his love to Sally Talley, an uncertain and shy "spinster" in her 30s. Matt, an older Jewish immigrant from Lithuania, has little more than an hour and a half to convince Sally, a protestant from a conservative family, to run off with him and get married. Through it all, they must share their darkest secrets and most painful memories, but as Matt says, "This is the kind of romance that can only be found in the theatre."

IAC's first production of 2024 is "The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence" by Madeleine George, running April 5 through April 21, 2024. This time-traveling, painfully funny love story follows three famous (and one not-so-famous) Watsons who discover how technology shapes our human relationships and how our identities can be completely dependent on people outside ourselves. Eliza, a genius robotics engineer is building the perfect intelligence, Watson, a super-computer that will one-day be famous for winning an episode of Jeopardy. Meanwhile, aspiring conservative politician Merrick, hires his IT guy, Watson, to spy on Eliza, who happens to be his ex-wife. Then, in 1889, a woman named Eliza seeks the help of famed detective, Sherlock Holmes, but only finds his trusty assistant, Watson, who agrees to take her case. Progressing to 1876, Watson, Alexander Graham Bell's loyal laboratory assistant, Watson, agrees to be interviewed about his experience with the inventor of the telephone. Zipping back and forth through time and Watsons, this funny, moving, and brilliant play will leave both your head and your heart spinning.

Wrapping up the Inaugural Season, The Inspired Acting Company will present the Michigan premiere of a new musical revue, John Bucchino's "It's Only Life," July 12 through July 28, 2024, a powerful and uplifting musical about longing, fulfillment, loss, triumph and ultimately wisdom. John Bucchino's songs have been performed by solo artists including Art Garfunkle, Liza Minnelli, Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, and Audra McDonald, as well as The Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. His musicals include "A Catered Affair," "Urban Myths," "Lavender Girl," and the animated film, "Joseph, King of Dreams." Winner of the Los Angeles Ovation Award, this intimate musical experience is a celebration of the magic of living and may even have you humming its catchy tunes all the way home.

The Inspired Acting Company is located at 1124 E. West Maple Rd, Walled Lake, MI 48390. Performances are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

General admission tickets are $35 for plays and $45 for musicals. Tickets may be purchased online at www.InspiredActing.org, by calling (248) 863-9953, or at the box office prior to each performance. There is ample free parking.

The Inspired Acting Company's mission is to provide professional theatrical productions and arts education programs that inspire empathy, generate positive change, and promote discourse and life-long learning to our diverse community.


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