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Posted on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.

The Penny Seats theater troupe announces its 2012 season

By Staff

The Penny Seats theater company, hot off its debut in last summer's "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)" at West Park, has announced two shows for its 2012 season, as well as an upcoming collaboration with local nonprofit 826 Michigan.

On Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m., The Penny Seats will join forces with 826 Michigan, taking the stage at Rackham Auditorium alongside acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Dave Eggers ("A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius") and other guest artists to perform staged readings of five short plays by local students, ages 8 to 18. The plays were written in workshops conducted by 826 Michigan, and all proceeds from the show will go to the local nonprofit tutoring and writing center. Eggers will interview the student playwrights between pieces. The event, "The Return of Oatmeal," represents the second annual partnership between The Penny Seats and 826 Michigan. Last year's Five Bowls of Oatmeal proved a phenomenal success for both groups and a unique, validating way to showcase student playwriting. It will be a treat for audiences of all ages. The event is produced by 826 and supported by Sava's restaurant. Tickets are only $7 for adults and $3 for kids age 6-18, and are available through Brown Paper Tickets, 800-838-3006, or at the door.

Next, in a new partnership with Performance Network Theatre, The Penny Seats will present their first winter show: Jeffrey Hatcher's twisty, witty drama "What Corbin Knew." The show will run in PNT’s second stage space (called The Mosh Pit) in late February through mid-March, with auditions December 6 and 7. Tickets will be $10 each and will be available by phone at 734-663-0681. In "Corbin," a wealthy architect unwittingly sets off a dangerous chain of confrontations when he invites two couples to a luxury skybox to celebrate his good fortune. Despite his best intentions, the situation gives way to tragedy; but a revelatory “behind-the-scenes” second act shows there is much more to the tal. PNT audiences will recognize Hatcher as the playwright behind "A Picasso" and "The Turn of the Screw" (Halloween 2010).

Finally, in July, The Penny Seats return to the West Park Band Shell and signature picnic-in-the-park format, with their first Broadway musical. "She Loves Me" is a show by Joe Masteroff and "Fiddler on the Roof" composers Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. In the musical, workplace rivals Georg and Amalia spend their days bickering at work, and their nights falling in love as pen pals who—they think—have never met. Highlights of the singable score include “Vanilla Ice Cream,” “Twelve Days to Christmas,” “Where’s My Shoe?”, "Tonight at Eight," and, of course, “She Loves Me.” The 1963 show is a musical adaptation of the play Parfumerie, by Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo (also depicted in the 1940 film "The Shop around the Corner"). Tickets will be $10, available through Brown Paper Tickets, 800-838-3006.