Three Premieres, Including Jeff Daniels' New Escanaba Play, Blossom at Purple Rose in 2006-07

News   Three Premieres, Including Jeff Daniels' New Escanaba Play, Blossom at Purple Rose in 2006-07
Playwright Jeff Daniels has penned a prequel to his popular regional comedy, Escanaba in da Moonlight, called Escanaba in Love, to premiere at the resident Michigan theatre Daniels founded.

The Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, MI, has announced details for its 2006-07 season. In addition to the Daniels play, two other world premieres — When the Lights Come On, a romance by Brian Letscher, and Sea of Fools, a farce by Matt Letscher — will bow, along with a revival of the 1965 Frank D. Gilroy drama, The Subject Was Roses.

The Purple Rose Theatre Company presents at 137 Park Street, Chelsea, MI, about 60 miles west of Detroit.

Escanaba in Love represents Daniels' 11th new work to premiere in Chelsea. It will open the new season.

"In the hilarious prequel to the legendary Escanaba in da Moonlight, visit the Soady deer camp on the verge of World War II and meet the love of young Albert Soady, Jr.'s life — the legendary Big Betty Baloo — along with a whole new cast of wacky Yoopers," PRTC reports.

Escanaba in da Moonlight charted the wacky adventures of a group of Michigan Upper Peninsula folk (dubbed Yoopers) in the woods around the town of Escanaba. It was a huge hit for Purple Rose, moved to a commercial run and has enjoyed regional productions. Directed by PRTC artistic director Guy Sanville, the cast of Escanaba in Love will include Paul Hopper, Wayne David Parker (of the original Escanaba in da Moonlight), Inga R. Wilson, Will David Young and the professional acting debut of former PRTC apprentice Jake Christensen as Albert Soady, Jr.

Escanaba in Love will run for 13 weeks, Sept. 28-Dec. 23, 2006.

Pulitzer Prize-winner The Subject Was Roses, about a marriage falling apart as a son returns from service in World War II, Feb. 8-March 11, 2007. Alma College and PRTC apprentice program graduate Quintessa Gallinat makes her professional directing debut staging a production to feature Patrick Michael Kenney, Grant R. Krause and Michelle Mountain.

When the Lights Come On is " a world premiere play by former Division I football coach Brian Letscher exploring the high-stress coaching world and the things these driven men do to the women in their lives," according to PRTC. "Tommy Leonard needs to focus on signing a brilliant new recruit to save his career. His new wife Jamie wants a baby now. Surrounded by the insanity of the coaching world, it's hard to make the right call."

PRTC artistic director Guy Sanville will direct a cast to include Grant R. Krause, Michelle Mountain and Jim Porterfield. Performances are April 5-June 2, 2007.

The talents of actor Matt Letscher (Rain Dance, The Tropical Pickle) returns to the Purple Rose in summer 2007 to write and direct the world premiere farce, Sea of Fools, featuring Sandra Birch, John Lepard, Janet Maylie, John Seibert and Guy Sanville. Performances play June 2-Sept. 1, 2007.

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

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