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The Rasa Festival shifts formats for its 2021 celebration of Indian arts

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 10:00am by christopherporter

Ann Arbor's Rasa Festival, which celebrates Indian dance, music, theater, film, and poetry, moved online during the quarantine. Generally speaking, it kept the format of the previous years' festivals just with scheduled live streams during the length of the festival rather than in-person events.

For the 2021 edition, Rasa will still be entirely online, but rather than presenting a series of livestreams in a compacted time period, the festival will produce event videos about once a month for the next six to eight months.

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U-M production updates the Roaring Twenties-set musical "The Wild Party" for the Cell Phone Age

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 10:00am by christopherporter

UMSTMD's production of The Wild Party

Director and University of Michigan grad Andrew Lippa sets The Wild Party in modern-day Manhattan. Photo courtesy UMSTMD.

Joseph Moncore March’s 1928 book-length poem The Wild Party was a scandal at the time. March portrayed in rhythmic language the shifting landscape of sexual relations and raw desires in the Roaring ’20s as captured in a Hollywood party run amok. The book was banned in Boston and beyond.

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This Woman's Work: UMSTMD's "Nora" explores Ibsen's "A Doll's House" through three different eras

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 3:00pm by christopherporter

Alyssa Melani, Ruby Sevcik, Ruby Pérez star in UMSMTD's Nora

Alyssa Melani, Ruby Sevcik, Ruby Pérez star as three generations of Nora in U-M's interpretation of Hendrik Ibsen's A Doll's House. Photo courtesy of UMSTMD.

I felt guilty for stealing away, by myself, for a few hours on Sunday to see U-M’s Department of Theatre and Drama production of Stef Smith’s Nora: A Doll’s House, leaving my kids and spouse to fend for themselves.

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Encore Musical Theatre Company opens its new home and 13th season with "Smokey Joe’s Cafe"

Fri, 09/24/2021 - 1:00pm by christopherporter

Bryana Hall in Encore Theatre's Smokey Joe's Cafe

Bryana Hall is one of the singing stars of Encore Theatre's Smokey Joe's Cafe.

Live theater is back and the Encore Musical Theatre Company is celebrating the opening of its 13th season in its spectacular new space in Dexter and in the always rocking Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

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Theatre Nova's "The Lifespan of a Fact" is a compelling issue play built on a lopsided debate

Tue, 09/21/2021 - 2:00pm by christopherporter

Theatre Nova's The Lifespan of a Fact

Left to right: Diane Hill as Emily Penrose, Justin Montgomery as Jim Fingal, and Andrew Huff as John D'Agata in The Lifespan of a Fact by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Murrell, directed by Carla Milarch at Theatre NOVA. Photography by Sean Carter Photography.

During a set change in Theatre Nova’s first live, in-person production in front of an audience since March 2020, a stage crew duo flipped and turned an office desk to reveal a fluffy couch.

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University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance announces 2021-2022 productions

Mon, 07/19/2021 - 11:00am by christopherporter

From a production of Nora: A Doll's House

From a previous UMSMTD production of Insurrection: Holding History. Photo by Peter Smith Photography.

Drama is back at the University of Michigan.

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Review: Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s “A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call”

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 7:30am by christopherporter

Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call

By sheer coincidence, I experienced the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s theatrical presentation of A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call at a time when I’d also revisited Mandy Len Catron’s viral essay, “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This,” which references 36 questions purported to accelerate intimacy between two strangers.

What’s the connection, you ask?

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U-M's Not Even Really Drama Students (NERDS) created a series of original musical audio dramas

Thu, 07/08/2021 - 3:00pm by christopherporter

Not Even Really Drama Students musical audio dramas

I've lived in Ann Arbor for nearly five years and I'm still discovering student groups at the University of Michigan who are producing original music, art exhibitions, videos, films, literature, photography, magazines, and theater. Campus talent runs DEEP.

Today's discovery is the Not Even Really Drama Students (NERDS), which creates original musical dramas. I assume that normally they would stage the productions somewhere, but over the past year, these students created a series of original audio and video musical dramas that they've uploaded to YouTube and Spotify. 

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Go Behind the Scenes of "Temping," a One-Person Performance Starring You

Fri, 06/25/2021 - 4:00pm by christopherporter

Get a behind-the-scenes tour of Temping, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival's ongoing, immersive, one-person theater experience. AADL interviews designer Asa Wember and director Michel Rau, giving viewers a glimpse into this wildly imaginative experience.


"Temping" is written by Michael Yates Crowley, designed by Asa Wember and Sara C. Walsh, and directed by Michael Rau. It is hosted by the Ann Arbor Summer Festival from June 15th through July 3rd in partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library. You can register for your session here 

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Face to Interface: A2SF’s "Temping" is an uncanny, moving performance for one

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 10:30am by christopherporter

Ann Arbor Summer Fest's Temping

I double-checked that I was at the correct address, but the unmarked doors to the office building were locked.