Detroit Public Theater hopes to share success in new home

Opera theater

“The continuation of art, music and dance programs on the Marygrove campus is part of our heritage. It is important for the community to have affordable and accessible programs in their neighborhood.

“It is also important for us to level the playing field, especially for organizations of color (which) do not have the resources to procure office and programming space in Midtown or Downtown,” a- she declared.

From space in Marygrove, Shakespeare, 10, in Detroit prepares his teenage students for a summer performance of “Romeo and Juliet,” while also setting up two spaces inside the Madame Cadillac building for his costume shop and archives. the group said in an email last week.

“Our hope, with a few more resources and new team members, is to occupy more rooms and continue to grow our small but extraordinarily powerful theater company.”

Having a space he could call his home has helped the Detroit Repertory Theater maintain its operations and its cast transcending race for the past 64 years.

The organization bought its long-standing building in downtown Detroit at 13103 Woodrow Wilson and Buena Vista streets just four years after it launched and burned down its mortgage in 1973, said Leah Smith, who has been appointed artistic director / director of the theater last week after the retirement of its founders. .

Owning her theater building has been a benefit to the bottom line, especially during the pandemic, she said.

The Detroit Rep also has two other buildings nearby, one housing a rehearsal space and its stage store and the other a storage space.

His long-standing operation in the neighborhood has helped him build relationships with residents of Detroit and ensure access to theatrical productions, while drawing people from the suburbs to his audiences, said Smith, a veteran of the group for 18 years.

By having a home, “our audience feels safe and knows we’re not going anywhere,” Smith said.