Guest Artist, Jeff Daniels' New Play About the American Theatre, Premieres in Michigan | Playbill

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News Guest Artist, Jeff Daniels' New Play About the American Theatre, Premieres in Michigan Guest Artist, the 10th play by Jeff Daniels to premiere at the resident Equity theatre he founded in his Michigan hometown, opens Jan. 27 after previews since Jan. 19.

The play, presented by The Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, MI, 60 miles west of Detroit, is about the American theatre and is billed as "a deeply personal labor of love about taking risks and playing it safe."

Performances play to March 18.

"In the tradition of Across the Way and Boom Town, Guest Artist is a play about the arrogant use of power; a story about taking risks, playing it safe and the mixed blessing of getting exactly what you wish," according to PRTC. "In his most autobiographical work yet, Daniels weaves a funny and poignant story about a young man coming face to face with his hero and explores the tangled relationship between the dreams of youth and the wisdom of age."

Playwright Jeff Daniels (best known as a film actor, most recently a Golden Globe nominee for "The Squid and the Whale") has been writing for The Purple Rose Theatre Company since Shoe Man appeared in the not-for-profit company's first season in 1991. Since then, four of his plays have been published by Dramatists Play Service and performed all over the country. His Escanaba in da Moonlight was a hit at Purple Rose and played a successful commercial run in downtown Detroit.

Guest Artist is said to be different than Daniels' previous works, many of which had a skewed, outrageous sense of humor. "I've always wanted to write a play about the American Theatre," he said in Purple Rose production notes. "I had no idea it would be so deeply personal. It's a play I had to write."

Directed by PRTC artistic director Guy Sanville, the cast of Guest Artist features Randall Godwin as the Ticket Man, Patrick Michael Kenney as the young man and Grant R. Krause as his hero.

The creative team includes set designer Bartley H. Bauer, lighting designer Dana White, costume designer Christianne Myers, prop designer Danna Segrest and sound designer Quintessa Gallinat. The stage manager is Katie M. Doral with Michelle DiDomenico and Amy Hickman as assistant stage managers.

For more information, call (734) 433-ROSE (7673) or visit


Daniels' Apartment 3A, which premiered at Purple Rose, is currently getting its New York City premiere Off-Off-Broadway.

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