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Posted on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 6:56 a.m.

'Striking 12' at EMU, 'Don Giovanni' at U-M

By Carla Milarch

By the time this article posts, we will all know a little bit more about what the next four years in America will look like. My prediction at this point: a little over half the country will be exultant, a little under half will be disappointed. One way or another, it will be over.

It seems this election season has been more heated than in years past, but perhaps it just feels that way, due to the evolution of social media, where opinions are front-and-center all of the time. Political memes, shares, likes and retweets jam our media feeds and our collective consciousness. One wonders what we’ll all do a week from now.

Might I suggest a vacation from social media, with an actual face-to-face encounter at one of your favorite theaters? Get out and connect with your fellow humans, rub elbows in a non-political environment, and enjoy the shared experience that live theater can bring.

Last time I checked, both Republicans and Democrats liked theater, and if we’re going to move forward, we’re going to need to find our common ground. In a darkened auditorium we’re all just human beings, watching the magic unfold, together.

Show: “Untitled” by Michael Brian Ogden, one-time event, Nov. 10, 10:30 a.m.
Company: Purple Rose Theatre Company
Type of Company: Professional Equity SPT
Venue/location: McKune Room of the Chelsea District Library, 221 South Main Street, Chelsea
Recommended ages: 16+
Description: PRTC artists read an untitled new play by Michael Brian Ogden, the author of "Bleeding Red" and "Corktown." Nurse Rachel Migilny is ringing in the New Year with her husband and looking towards a bright future together when the unthinkable happens: Zombies attack! Flash forward to a post-zombie-apocalyptic society where a small band of survivors is trying to make their way to a safe zone where there may (or may not) be a cure. Will Rachel and her new found allies survive the journey? This gripping new play pushes the bounds of theatrical conventions and asks audiences to go along for the ride. Contains adult language and themes.
More information
Fun fact: Community members are invited to join the PRTC for the first public reading of this work-in-progress and give their feedback to the playwright and director after the reading.
For tickets and information: 734-433-7673 (ROSE),

Show: “Harry the Dirty Dog” based on the book by Gene Zion with illustrations by Margaret Bloy Graham, one-time event, Nov. 11, 1:30 pm
Company: The Michigan Theater
Type of Company: Not Just for Kids Live Series
Venue/location: Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
Recommended ages: All
Description: Harry has everything a little white dog with black spots could want. There’s just one problem: he hates taking baths. He hates them so much, in fact, that one morning he runs away. After a wonderful day spent playing in the dirt, Harry gets so grubby that he turns into a little black dog with white spots…and returns home to find that his family doesn’t recognize him!
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Fun fact: ArtsPower’s new musical, based on the classic book by Gene Zion with illustrations by Margaret Bloy Graham, captures both the whimsical humor and touching dedication to family found in Harry’s story.
For tickets and information: 800-745-3000,

Show: “Stuart Little” adapted from the E.B. White book by Joseph Robinette, through Nov. 11
Company: Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's Junior Theatre
Type of Company: Community, Children’s/Educational program
Venue/location: College Theater (LA 175,) Crane Liberal Arts Building, Washtenaw Community College, Ypsilanti
Recommended ages: 4+
Description: Stuart Little tells the story of a young boy named Stuart who, while born into a regular family of humans, looks curiously just like a mouse. His parents immediately accept him for who he is, but Stuart longs to see the world outside the comfort and safety of his home. At the wheel of his pint-sized roadster, Stuart sets off to see the world and encounters adventures and friends along the way.
More information
Fun fact: The book "Stuart Little" is over 60 years old, but is still a favorite of kids today!
For tickets and information: 734-971-2228,

Show: “Striking 12” by Brendan Milburn, Rachel Sheinkin and Valerie Vigoda, through Nov. 11
Company: Eastern Michigan University Theatre
Type of Company: Higher Education
Venue/location: Sponberg Theatre, located in the Quirk Theatre Arts Building, EMU campus, Ypsilanti
Recommended ages: 13+
Description: The holidays can be a difficult time. Some choose to grumpily ignore the season, others choose to try and spread cheer—while selling full-spectrum holiday light bulbs. Inspired in part by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl, "Striking 12" shares what happens when these worlds collide and modern day New York City is intertwined with 19th century Denmark. Directed by Ken Stevens and R. MacKenzie Lewis, this jazzy musical staged reading has an eclectic, vibrant pop/rock/jazz score.
Fun fact: Celebrate New Year's in November, arrive early for pre-show goodies!
For tickets and information: 734-487-2282,
Special ticket offer: Striking 12 runs one weekend only, all tickets are $7.

Show: "Don Giovanni" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte, through Nov. 11
Company: U-M SMTD University Opera Company and University Symphony Orchestra
Type of Company: Higher Education
Venue/location: Power Center, 121 Fletcher, Ann Arbor
Recommended ages: 12+
Description: Based on the story of the libertine Don Juan, the opera tells the tale of Don Giovanni, a reckless philanderer who seduces women (more than 2000 according to his carefully detailed catalog) in total disregard for civil and divine authority. But in the wake of a life lived to excess, his day of reckoning finally approaches. Caught in the act of seducing the Commendatore’s daughter Donna Anna, Giovanni accidentally kills the Commendatore when he comes to defend his daughter's honor. After more misdeeds and attempted seductions, Giovanni finds himself pursued by those he has wronged.
Preview from
Fun fact: George Bernard Shaw considered Don Giovanni to be the greatest opera ever composed: "...eminent in virtue of its uncommon share of wisdom, beauty, and humor."
For tickets and information: 734-764-2538,

Show: “Woyzeck” by Georg Büchner, adapted by Audra Lord, EXTENDED through Nov. 10
Company: The New Theatre Project
Type of Company: Pre-professional
Venue/location: Mix Studio, 130 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti,
Recommended ages: 16+
Description: As The New Theatre Project’s inaugural show of the Reinvention season, "Woyzeck" provides audiences with a theatrical experience unlike anything seen before on the Mix stage. The play, remaining incomplete after the playwright Georg Büchner’s early death in 1837, has no ending and only fragmented scenes. TNTP has restored the play with it’s own version of Büchner’s creation that allows the audience to choose how best to complete this mysterious and enticing piece.
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Fun fact: The play was admired both by the German naturalist Gerhart Hauptmann and, subsequently, by expressionist playwrights. It is loosely based on the true story of Johann Christian Woyzeck, a Leipzig wigmaker and, latterly, a soldier. In 1821, Woyzeck, in a fit of jealousy, murdered Christiane Woost, a widow with whom he had been living. He was later publicly beheaded.
For tickets and information: 734-961-8704,
Special ticket offer: Have dinner at Bona Sera Cafe across the street and receive $1 off your ticket price, with receipt.

Show: “Superior Donuts” by Tracy Letts, through December 15
Company: Purple Rose Theatre Company
Type of Company: Professional Equity SPT
Venue/location: Purple Rose Theatre Company, 137 Park Street, Chelsea
Recommended ages: Contains Adult Language & Content
Description: Arthur Przybyszewski has just about given up on everything: a social life, the chance of romance and most of all his family’s long standing Chicago doughnut shop. But when idealistic dreamer, Franco Wicks walks through the door of his vandalized storefront, Arthur realizes through their unlikely friendship that life still has more to offer him. Written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tracy Letts ("August: Osage County") the comedy-drama "Superior Donuts" will make you a believer too. review
Fun fact: Immigrants have brought various doughnut varieties to the United States. To celebrate Fat Tuesday in eastern Pennsylvania, churches sell a potato starch doughnut called a Fastnacht (or Fasnacht). The treats are so popular there that Fat Tuesday is often called Fastnacht Day. The Polish doughnut, the pÄ…czki, is popular in U.S. cities with large Polish communities such as Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit.
For tickets and information: 734-433-7673 (ROSE),