The Playhouse at White Lake (formerly Howmet Playhouse) has announced the casts of the six plays in the summer mainstage season and launches the inaugural Summer Theatre Festival after its nearly 4 million dollar renovation.
The summer theatre festival opens July 12 and 13 with Central Michigan University’s Double Show Weekend featuring California Suite by Neil Simon, directed by Elaine Daugherty and Fox on the Fairway by Ken Ludwig, directed by Steve Berglund.
July 18-20, The Hound of the Baskervilles (by Steven Canny and John Nicholson) will fill the air with the mystery of an ancient family curse, a desolate moor, a spectral hound and a deranged killer on the loose. The Hound of the Baskervilles is the most celebrated Holmes story of all, a masterpiece of mystery and suspense. The story of Sherlock Holmes’s investigation into the monstrous beast terrorizing the dark and dangerous moors includes all the familiar elements of the tale, told through one of the most sublimely funny adaptations of a classic that you are ever likely to see. This production will be directed by Penelope Notter and brings back the popular trio of professional actors, Joe Carmolli, John Gray, and Michael X. Sommers. The actors appeared together in previous productions at the Playhouse, Moonlight and Magnolias and Art.
July 25 – 27 the White Lake Youth Theatre presents Let’s Make A Scene. Through a series of shorts scenes, the youth ensemble will delve into various characters and share contemporary stories of loss, relationships, breaking up, cheating, summer, boredom and escaping to Canada. With each story told by 2-3 actors, the play challenges the young actors to delve deep into each of the characters and tell their truth. From a collection by Douglas M Parker, the youth theatre presentation will be under the direction of veteran actor and director, Chris Beaman.
A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath will take the stage August 1-3. A contemporary sequel to A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, it begins 15 years after Nora Helmer closes the door on her life and begins a journey of self-discovery, leaving behind her husband and three young children. In …Part 2, that same door opens to reveal Nora, a changed woman with an incredibly awkward favor to ask the people she abandoned. Directed by Natalie Carmolli, the cast includes Katie McCool as Nora Helmer, Chris Beaman as Torvald Helmer, Emily Mann as Emmy Helmer and Cynthia Bates Twining as the long-suffering nanny left behind to pick up the pieces of Nora’s impulsive decisions.
A Miracle on South Division Street written by Tom Dudzick, will be performed the following weekend, August 8-10. The Nowaks of Buffalo, NY, have always known they were special, ever since the miraculous night in 1942 when the Blessed Mother appeared to Grandpa in his barbershop. Since then, the neighborhood has looked upon the Nowaks’ 20-foot commemorative shrine as a beacon of hope and faith amidst the urban rubble. However, the entire family’s faith is shaken to the very core when a deathbed confession causes the family legend to unravel. The results are heartfelt and hilarious. Directed by Bryan Engler, the cast includes mother Clara Nowak, played by Robin Erdman, and her three grown kids, played by Ann Genson, Erin Mickelson, and Dakotah Salazar.
The comedy continues the following weekend with Escanaba in da Moonlight August 15-17. The popular script, written by Michigan native Jeff Daniels, introduces the Soady clan, who are reuniting for opening day at the family’s Upper Peninsula deer camp. Thirty-five-year-old Reuben Soady brings with him the infamous reputation of being the oldest Soady in the history of the Soadys never to bag a buck. This hunting story to beat all hunting stories will be directed by Sheila Wahamaki and features actors Tucker Curtis, Kristopher Arnold, Gabe Cerchiori, Heath Carpenter, Tom Harryman, and Adrienne Lewis.
August 22-24 brings back the well-received ‘Summer Shorts’ production. Written by a wide selection of artists, the plays, although short on length, carry themes that are as wide-ranging as the playwrights themselves. From laugh-out-loud humor to unexpected twists, this collection of plays will take audiences through stories of love, deception, hidden meanings, and loose endings. Directed by Justin Sternburgh the ensemble cast includes Diane Van Wesep, Lorrell Stark, Andrea Mathews, Sarah Sternburgh, Tom Klonowski, Billy D Mann and Scott Murphy.
Patrons may purchase Summer Theatre Festival tickets at Whitehall City Hall, weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm (231) 894-4048, and one hour before showtime at The Playhouse box office. To purchase tickets online, go to The Playhouse website – look for the “Buy Tix” button to purchase single show tickets for the show(s) of your choice, or use the “Full Flex Pass” or “Mini Flex Pass” button to purchase season passes.