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Detroit, Michigan

Detroit: Theater

Most people never realize that Detroit has one of the finest theater districts in the nation. In fact, it is widely said that the city has the second largest theater district – falling only to the Great White Way in New York City. If you consider how many more theaters are in the tri-county area of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, you have one of the most diverse settings in the country for live performances.

Many of these venues date back to Detroit’s heyday, so the interiors truly match the quality of the work on stage. As a large portion of the city’s population moved to the suburbs, more theaters popped up to give the outlying areas access to the stage. There also are a growing number of children’s theaters whose aim is to cultivate a love of the arts in every age.

Detroit has the best of Broadway, from classics to modern-day smashes, from Shakespeare to Chekhov to Billie Joe Armstrong. There are musicals, dramas, comedies and everything in between. There are improve comedy reviews and serious acting troupes. There also are incredible venues like Detroit’s PuppetArt, which takes imagination and puppetry to new heights.

So whether you want to feel like the actors are beside you at the tiny 192-seat Century Theatre or you’d rather lose yourself in the vast and overwhelmingly beautiful 5,000-seat Fox Theatre, there is something for every price point and interest level within Southeast Michigan. All it takes is a ticket and a willingness to try. (Karen Dybis)

Detroit Theater: Theater Around Detroit

Below are our Detroit Theater recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, theater history and other points of interest in Detroit Art.

Detroit Repertory Theatre

The Detroit Repertory Theatre has had a hard life. The small, but tough neighborhood theater company has weathered mortgages, riots, and racism, not to mention the difficulty that all theaters face in convincing people that drama remains a relevant and vital force. In spite of these factors, the Detroit Repertory Theater has reached its 50th anniversary, and proved that it’s a survivor. With recent renovations to the facility and solid …more…

Hilberry Repertory Theatre

Hilberry was created in 1963 by Leonard Leone, who believed that a repertory system is the best possible training experience for careers in the theatre. Clarence B. Hilberry, then president of Wayne State University, took responsibility for raising the funds to convert the First Church of Christ Scientist in Detroit into the open-stage theatre that remains the company’s home to this day. The Kentucky Cycle Parts I and II, Glengarry Glen …more…

Meadow Brook Theatre

Housed on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, the Meadow Brook Theatre is Michigan’s largest not-for-profit professional theatre. Bringing acclaimed, locally produced productions of popular classic and contemporary fare to area audiences since 1967, Meadow Brook annually produces a six-show season that has included award winning productions of Boeing-Boeing, The Trip to Bountiful, Moonlight and Magnolias, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s By Jeeves.

Featuring a talented company of union actors and directors, Meadow Brook’s excellence …more…

Purple Rose Theatre Company

The Purple Rose Theatre Company is largely dedicated to developing new plays based on life in the Great Lakes Basin. Founded in 1991 by actor Jeff Daniels, the company takes its name from The Purple Rose of Cairo, the Woody Allen film in which Daniels co-starred with Mia Farrow.

The theatre’s main performance space and administrative offices occupy a building in Chelsea, Michigan that was once owned by Daniels’ grandfather. Purple Rose …more…