The respected Canadian director and actor, Barry MacGregor, a veteran of the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival in Ontario, will cross the border in 2001-2002 to direct The Importance of Being Earnest at the Hilberry Theatre in Detroit.
MacGregor directed A Chorus of Disapproval at the Hilberry — the graduate theatre of Wayne State University in Detroit — in 1990. The Hilberry is the only graduate theatre company in the U.S. that performs in rotating repertory (as Stratford and Shaw does). Both Canadian festivals draw audiences from Michigan, and this is not the first time Canadian artists have been invited to work with resident Detroit companies. Stratford's Antoni Cimolino staged a lauded Twelfth Night for the now-defunct Attic Theatre in Motown.
The 2001-2002 Hilberry season, under the direction of theatre chair Blair Anderson, includes Moliere's The Learned Ladies, Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Alan Ayckbourn's Season's Greetings, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosensweig and the Michigan premiere of Moliere by Mikhail Bulgakov.
Hilberry grads include Jeffrey Tambor and Max Wright.
WSU professor emeritus Russ Smith returns to the Hilberry's sister troupe, the Bonstelle Theatre, to direct Grease in 2001-2002. The undergrad Bonstelle season also includes The Adding Machine, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Equus. For information, call (313) 577-2972.
— By Kenneth Jones