November 16, 2013

It’s Time for Another Bowl of Oatmeal!

It’s Time for Another Bowl of Oatmeal!
Don’t miss Five Bowls of Oatmeal IV:  Revenge of Oatmeal
Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 2:00p.m.

Lydia Mendelssohn Auditorium
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Tickets at the door:  $5 for Adults; FREE for kids 18 and under.

This may be the most fun a theater company can ever have.

Presenting the fourth-annual festival of student-written, one-act plays: Five Bowls of Oatmeal. This is our beloved annual partnership with that best-of-all-student-writing-centers, 826michigan. In short, FBOO is our attempt to perform a whole bunch of student-written short plays, each featuring a bowl of oatmeal, several zany costumes, and lots and lots of eponymously labeled foamboard.  The playwrights, students from Ypsilanti’s Erickson Elementary and the Bright Futures program at Washtenaw International Middle Academy, have been hard at work in playwriting workshops led by playwrights Joe Horton and Russ Schwartz.  They’ll be interviewed, Inside the Actor’s Studio-style, between sets.  This year’s installment, aptly titled Revenge of Oatmeal, is sponsored by the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, Kroger, and University Office Technologies, and will be held on Saturday, November 16, at 2pm at Lydia Mendelssohn Auditorium. Admission is $5 for adults and FREE for children and youth, and all proceeds will — of course — benefit 826michigan’s free creative writing and tutoring programs for students aged 6-18 in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and Detroit.

Come enjoy plays with titles like “Not A Normal Day”, “Octopus versus Evil Monster”, “I Want to Lose My Leaves,” and “The Chronicles of Baby and Rock.” They are sure to warm you like a great bowl of oatmeal.


October, 2013

Nightfall_with_EAPA One-Night-Only Special Event at Vellum Restaurant

October 30, 2013. 8:00pm.

Halloween is a fabulous time for theater.  Even better, for theater and an incredible, delectable meal by one of the best restaurants to hit the Ann Arbor scene in a long time. Thus, we are proud to present a Penny Seats Halloween benefit.  A delicious, ghoulish evening in partnership with Vellum restaurant, celebrating our first three years as a 100% donor-funded theater company, and looking ahead to our busiest, biggest year ever.  

Russ Schwartz directs the company in a staged reading of Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe*, a play showcasing four of Poe’s best-known works (The Tell-Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven, and The Fall of the House of Usher).  The show is free, but please order from Vellum’s amazing, special event menu, developed just for us.  As if you needed convincing.  There’s limited seating, so get your tickets now, here


Summer, 2013


little me LARGE posterThe Penny Seats enjoyed stellar crowds with LITTLE ME, a musical again performed at Ann Arbor’s West Park Band Shell with a three week run in July.

The production featured Lauren London, Roy Sexton, Sarah Faix, Matt Cameron, Kelly Cameron, Nigel Turtle, Debbie Dolney, Barbara Bruno, Angela Elowsky, Eric Winder and Selene Whalen.

The production team included Shannon McNutt (director), Rebecca Biber (music director), Victoria Gilbert (choreographer), JP Hitesman (producer), Sean Murphy (technical director), John Henderson and Eric Winder (stage management) and Bridget Bly (costumer).


April 2013 – Little Me auditions

Hey all! Yes. It’s time for auditions for our big summer show, and we want you. Come out and play with us! You won’t regret it.

We are proud to announce that our director for this show is the inimitable Shannon McNutt, who has worked extensively throughout Southeast Michigan, teaches in Canton, and is a professional actress herself. Our Music Director is the incomparable Rebecca Biber, teacher, musician, and sought-after regional music director. Our Choreographer is Victoria Gilbert, a dancer with over 25 years’ experience, who trained with The Tap Dogs and now teaches at Kenville Studios. Our Producer is JP Hitesman, who graces us with his presence after numerous professional production roles on both coasts. And Sean Murphy, our eminently capable Technical Director, will steer the rest of our crew. We are honored to have them all.

A small honorarium will be provided for principal actors.

Auditions: Sunday, May 5 from 4 – 9pm and Monday, May 6 from 6 – 10pm at the Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Avenue, Ann Arbor.

Music cuts and character descriptions for auditions are available on our Auditions page. Memorization will not be required, but please be prepared to sing vocal selections from the show. 

Please come prepared to move, and to perform cold readings from the script.

If you have any questions, please e-mail us at info@pennyseats.org. See you there!

As we may have mentioned, our show this summer is Little Me, a Broadway musical written by Neil Simon, Cy Coleman, and Carolyn Leigh, and originally choreographed by Bob Fosse. It’s the autobiography of the (fictitious) Belle Poitrine (nee Schlumpfert) as told by an older version of herself. She’s an optimistic, determined, accident-prone girl who rises from poverty to wealth, culture, and social position, leaving a trail of suitors along the way. The original Broadway production was a star vehicle for comic genius Sid Caesar, who played 6 of Belle’s sweethearts. Some of the show’s more memorable tunes include “I’ve Got Your Number,” “Real Live Girl,” and “The Other Side of the Tracks.” Crazy to do this show outdoors in a park, you say? Crazy like a fox. We’re doing it. Are you in?