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Posted on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 : 10:43 a.m.

Wild Swan Theater to present 'Shipwrecked!'

By Jenn McKee


Wild Swan Theater presents "Shipwrecked!"

Photo provided by Wild Swan Theater

The Ann Arbor-based Wild Swan Theater, which produces shows for young people, will present a production of "Shipwrecked!" March 14-16 at Washtenaw Community College's Towsley Auditorium, at 4800 E. Huron River Dr. in Ann Arbor.

A press release provides further details about the show:

"Shipwrecked!" is an exciting sailing story, set in 1893, that follows the travails of twelve year old Aaron Buchanan when his family's schooner is caught in a fierce storm while he is at the helm. Young as he is, Aaron has sailed with his parents for years ferrying cargo from their home port of Detroit to ports through the Great Lakes. As the family is returning from Sault St. Marie on Lake Huron in November with a huge load of Christmas trees, they are caught in a ferocious gale that sweeps through Thunder Bay - infamously known as Shipwreck Alley. With assistance from the lighthouse keepers on Thunder Bay Island, a crew of surfmen from the lifesaving station brave 40 knot winds and sixteen foot waves to effect a daring rescue.

This historically-based, original drama has been written by long time Wild Swan playwright Jeff Duncan. Director Hilary Cohen is thrilled with the collaboration with our museum and education partners. “This has been a wonderful opportunity for Wild Swan to learn about the history of shipwrecks on the Great Lakes from an incredible group of experts. They are helping make the show really authentic. We think this will be a great way for upper elementary and middle school students to become excited about learning about our lakes.” The cast includes Wild Swan favorites Sandy Ryder, Michelle Trame Lanzi, Jeremy Salvatori, Sebastian Gerstner and ASL interpreter Jamie Fidler. Award-winning musician David Mosher has composed original music as well as a soundscape of authentic sounds - timbers creaking, waves crashing, winds howling. Backstage touch tours and audio-description are available for blind theater patrons. These services are free but must be reserved by calling 734-995-0530.

Located in the heart of The Great Lakes, Michigan possesses a rich maritime heritage and borders the largest supply of fresh water on the planet. “Given its importance,” according to Dorothy Ebersole, Project Director, “it is essential that youth and families discover and explore the role of the Great Lakes in shaping our history and our future.” For this play, Wild Swan has partnered with organizations with broad environmental education and history expertise and important collections and exhibits on Michigan’s maritime history: the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Michigan Historical Museum, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Michigan Geographic Alliance, and Michigan Council for History Education. The play and associated educational materials are made possible in part with a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Wild Swan Theater is dedicated to producing professional theater of the highest artistic quality for young people and families that is accessible, diverse and inclusive, through affordable ticket prices and innovative outreach programs. For more information or tickets to "Shipwrecked!", contact us at 734-995-0530 or visit our website at

Jenn McKee is the entertainment digital journalist for Reach her at or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.