Performance Network Theatre announces its production of "It Came From Mars" by local playwright, Joseph Zettelmaier, running through March 21, 2010. "Mars," which is a co-production with Williamston Theatre (WT), is a recipient of the prestigious Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, which is granted to only a handful of theatres nationwide. This world premiere comedy stars Wayne David Parker, Sandra Birch, Joseph Albright, Jacob Hodgson, Alysia Kolascz and Morgan Chard. It is directed by WT Artistic Director Tony Caselli (A PICASSO)."It Came From Mars," which is featured in the February issue of American Theatre Magazine, is a hilarious comedy about a troupe of radio actors terrified by Orson Welles'War of the Worlds broadcast.
Passions ignite and secret identities are revealed when a washed up director, his diva ex-wife, a German sound effects wiz and a wanna-be war hero believe that they are about to be annihilated by men from Mars! Weekly performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm, with 3pm matinees on Saturday March 6th and Saturday March 20th.
Tickets can be ordered at the Performance Network Box Office at 734-663-0681, online at www.performancenetwork.org or by coming to the Performance Network Theatre (120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor, 48104) Monday-Saturday 11-6 or one hour before a performance.
Tickets are priced at $10 - $41, with discounts available for seniors, members, students and groups."It Came From Mars" features set design by Janine Woods, lighting design by Daniel C. Walker, Costume design by Sally Converse-Doucette, properties design by Charles Sutherland and sound design by Will Myers.
This production is generously underwritten by Ann Arbor's 107. Founded in 1981, Performance Network Theatre has grown from a fledgling company to Ann Arbor's only resident, professional theatre. The Network reaches 40,000 theatre patrons and children each year through the year-round Professional Series and The Children's Theatre Network. Performance Network also presents the Fireside Festival of New Works and a series of classes on theatre-related topics. The Network provides uncompromising artistic leadership in the region and produces works that engage, challenge and inspire audiences and artists.
Sandra Birch was last seen at Performance Network in Summer and Smoke. She has been a professional actress for twenty-eight years, working primarily for The Purple Rose Theatre Company where she received The Detroit Free Press Best Actress Award for Stand. She also received the Detroit Free Press Best Supporting Actress Awards for Julie Johnson and Blithe Spirit and the Best Actress in a comedy Wilde Award for Sea of Fools, all at the Purple Rose. She has done numerous other theatrical productions, commercials, voiceovers, film and radio dramas in her home state of Michigan as well as her adopted home of Canada primarily in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. She is voice and movement teacher and proudly a First Stage Teacher at Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. Wayne David Parker is making his return on Performance Network's professional stage after appearing in Translations 25 years ago. He just completed a run of Escanaba at the Purple Rose Theatre Company.
He has been in every original cast of the Escanaba trilogy and was nominated for best supporting actor for the role of Jimmer in Escanaba in da Moonlight. Last season he appeared at MeadowBrook Theatre in The Trip to Bountiful and Kong's Night Out with Cindy Williams and Eddie Mekka. He has also done over twenty ther productions at MeadowBrook and also at The Tipping Point Theatre, the Boars Head Theatre and performed in Talleys Folly at the Williamston Theatre. He is a veteran of ten feature films, including a scene with Robert DeNiro in Stone which opens this spring. He continues to do voiceover work for radio and television commercials as he has done for the last twenty-five years. Joseph Zettelmaier is thrilled to see It Came From Mars debut at the Performance Network & Williamston Theatre. He is a two-time nominee for the American Theatre Critics Award for best new play, first in 2006 for All Childish Things (Planet Ant Theatre & BoarshHead Theatre) and then in 2007 for Language Lessons (Performance Network).
Other plays include Dr. Seward's Dracula and One Man's Trash (Planet Ant Theatre), Snow Angels & Blackwater Ballad (Eastern Michigan University), Night Blooming (Blackbird Theatre), and Point of Origin and The Stillness Between Breaths (Performance Network). Point of Origin won Best Locally Created Script 2002 from the Ann Arbor News, and The Stillness Between Breaths won Best New Play 2005 from the Oakland Press. The Stillness Between Breaths was also selected to appear in the 2005 National New Play Network's Festival of New Plays. Language Lessons was named Best New Play 2007 by the Ann Arbor News, who also called Zettelmaier "the Playwright to Watch." Most recently, he co-authored Flyover U.S.A. at the Williamston Theatre (Winner of the 2009 Thespie Award for Best New Script). He also adapted Christmas Carol'd this winter for Performance Network. This fall, the Planet Ant Theatre will produce his 3-Part play cycle The All Childish Things Trilogy. Zettelmaier is an Associate Artist at Performance Network, an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University and the Playwriting Mentor for Pioneer High School.
BOX734-663-0681, Monday - Saturday, 11am-6pm.
All photos are credit Peter Smith.
Joseph Albright, Sandra Birch, Alysia Kolascz, Jacob Hodgson
Joseph Albright, Wayne David Parker, Sandra Birch
Wayne David Parker, Sandra Birch, Morgan Chard
Wayne David Parker, Morgan Chard