Blackbird Theatre finds new home in Kerrytown
The Blackbird Theatre today announced it has found its new location in Braun Court.
The small independent live theater company has used alternative locations since moving out of its original home in the Children's Creative Center on Pauline Boulevard, and one of those has become permanent: the \sh\aut Gallery, 325 Braun Court, across Fourth Avenue from the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
The full text of the theater's announcement:
After a year-long property search, the Blackbird Theatre will settle into its new home in Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown District. The visionary company will share its new home with the \sh\-aut Gallery at 325 Braun Court. The lively, intimate venue is located near Kerrytown Shops and Ann Arbor’s Farmers Market. After a recent run of "Patty Hearst: The New Musical" in the space in June, the Blackbird negotiated a deal to create a permanent residence there. Owners Keith Orr> and Martin Contreras also operate the Aut Bar and Common Language Bookstore, located directly across the courtyard.
After a 7-year residence at The Children’s Creative Center on Ann Arbor’s West Side, the Blackbird Theatre began searching for a new home in a more convenient location. The Blackbird suspended its 2009-10 season to make this transition. “It was a long, hard search, and it’s a huge relief,” says Barton Bund. “We love the new venue, and the atmosphere and culture of Kerrytown. It’s a real locals’ hangout, and the new venue opens us up for a lot of new possibilities. The last few years have been the most creative in our company’s history, and the new venue gives us better access to the Ann Arbor community as a whole. This is a chance to share what we do with more people, in a comfortable new location.”
“We have a home base now and we couldn’t be more pleased,” says co-founder and Managing Director Dana Sutton. “We have done a lot of events at the \sh\-aut over the years which helped us to develop a real vision for the space. We have already been pushing the boundaries—after doing a full musical like Patty Hearst in that space, we know we can do just about anything.”
The theater company plans to continue its mission to produce new and innovative works for the stage. “The new space means we can take different risks,” adds Bund. “The work is more intimate, more immediate, more total-environmental. You’re close to the action, and it’s a wonderful experience for the actors and the audience. We’re ready to take on new challenges, and try some things we’ve never done. And we’ll stick to what we do best, too. This venue will be great for new plays, for classics, for concerts, all kinds of things.”
The Blackbird Theatre Academy for teens will continue its free drama programs, and the company plans to teach acting classes for all ages. Other plans include outdoor performances in and around the area, development of new plays, and community events. “This company has always reflected the flavor and the free spirit of Ann Arbor. The new Blackbird is going to be very Ann Arbor. For us, that means theatre that is fun, smart, edgy, and fearless. This next year is going to be huge for us, and great for the community around us too.”