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Thunder Bay Theatre looks to blockbuster summer season |

Thunder Bay Theatre looks to blockbuster summer season

“It’s all in an effort to celebrate TBT’s 50th anniversary this year,” said Artistic Director Jeffrey Mindock.

Not only were big name shows selected for the season, but TBT also is bringing in what could be a record number of core company members. All toll, the company will include 13 performers and nine production/administrative team members.

“Audiences can expect to see a lot of familiar face or faces connected to former core company members, which is exciting as we have been building this network of individuals who understand what we do at this theater and want to be a part of it,” Mindock said.

Among performers making a return from seasons past are Erica Werner, Emily Samuelson, Lucas Moquin, Adrian Rochelle, Kevin Stoffel and hometown favorite, Dylan Goike. Also on board for another season is Sarah Lake-Rayburn as costume designer.

Seven newcomers to the stage include Brigid Broderick, Emilio Canals, Madison Deadman, Kiko Laureano, Riley McManus, Caleb Richards and Christian Sanchez. They join Managing Director Molly Stricker, Music Director Michael Kaish, Scenic Designer Patrice J. Nelms, Lighting Sound Designer Jonah Schnell, Technical Director Benjamin Gaffney, Assistant Stage Manager Kristin Solodar, along with Mindock as the seasoned artistic director and Paige Mindock as stage manager and associate artistic director.

In an effort to prepare for the influx of a new, large core company, TBT has been renovating the multiple apartments above the theater used to house cast and crew.

“With the help of Young’s Appliance Co. and Art Van Furniture, we recently invested close to $6,000 in the upstairs apartments to be able to host this many company members,” Mindock said.

Besides painting and purchasing many new bathroom and kitchen accessories, TBT acquired multiple sets of new bunkbeds and bedding.

As for the upcoming season, unlike the previous summers two of the three featured shows will run for three weeks instead of four (“The Addams Family” and “Oklahoma”). Mindock said TBT noticed a trend over the past few years that with the four-week productions only 55 percent of available seats were filled. By switching to three weeks, he said the hope is to increase that amount to 70 or 75 percent occupancy.

Decreasing the number of shows also allowed the theater to pay for two fewer weeks of royalties, one of the big expenses at TBT. The money saved enabled the theater to hire the large core company for the summer.

Because there are fewer shows this summer than last, Mindock advises purchasing tickets early.

“Don’t wait until the last minute to get tickets,” he said. “We have been doing marketing outside the area so we are anticipating a record number of tourists in town this summer.”

In addition the regular performances, TBT also has planned five Late Night Cabaret events featuring cast members entertaining after shows at various locations around town, including the John A. Lau Saloon, Alpena Golf Club and Art in the Loft.

TBT’s season is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. For ticket prices and additional information, call 354-2267.

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