Gamut Theater Group announces youth theater classes

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Mike Moseley (left) of Allen Park as El Gallo, Kimberly Elliott of Canton Township as Luisa, Alex Gojkov of Dearborn as the Mute and Michael Bollman of Dearborn as Matt perform in “The Fantasticks” weekends through Sept. 29 at the Players Guild of Dearborn. For more information, call 313-561-TKTS or go to

The Gamut Theatre Group is expanding to include theater learning opportunities for children and teens as part of its repertoire.

Valerie Haas, who founded the group in 1994 with Brian Townsend, will teach the classes.

Haas, who has been active in the Dearborn area as an actor, director and acting coach, has a bachelor’s degree in theater from Northern Michigan University and a master’s degree in theater from Eastern Michigan University with a concentrated minor in children’s theater.

The acting classes will run seven to eight weeks and will end with a showcase performance. Classes will meet at Dearborn Congregational Church, 16350 Rotunda Drive in Dearborn.

Theatre Basics I (TBI), for ages 8 to 10, will use storytelling, games, improvisation and dress-up to build confidence and communication skills. Children will explore myths and legends, and will create a short play they will perform for family and friends at the conclusion of the class.

TBI will meet 4 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 8 to Nov. 21, with a 3 p.m. Nov. 23 showcase performance. There is a $60 class fee.

Exploring Acting I (EAI) for ages 11 to 13, will use theater games, improvisation, monologues and scene work to help the young actors create characters through vocal and physical techniques. They will perform contemporary one acts and scenes at an end of class showcase as well.

EAI will meet 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 8 to Nov. 21, with a 3 p.m. Nov. 23 showcase performance. There is a $75 class fee.

Teen Company Introductory Acting, for ages 14 to 17, will help aspiring actors create new characters, explore text and learn improvisational skills. Vocal and physical techniques will help youth develop a range of emotions and characters.

TCI will meet 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays Oct. 8 to Nov. 21, and will perform their monologues and scenes during their last class meeting. There is a $75 class fee.

Audition technique workshops for children, teens and adults take place Saturday, Dec. 14, with a $25 workshop fee. Ages 9 to 12 will meet from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; ages 13 to 17 will meet from noon to 1:30 p.m., and from 2 to 3:30 p.m. the adult workshop will meet.

For more information, and to register, contact Haas at 313-566-3837 or by email at

The Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center, at the Trenton Village Theatre, 2447 W. Jefferson in Trenton, will hold a fundraiser at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 featuring Magic Mike the Magician. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, students and children, and $15 for premium seating in the front four rows. Magic trick assistants selection occurs from the premium seating, and premium ticket holders will receive a backstage tour.
For magic show tickets only call 734- 771-7945.

“How I Became a Pirate,” a fast-paced musical based on the popular children’s book, is now a school field trip opportunity. Student tickets are $5, with free teacher admission.

School performances are at 9:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Oct. 29 and 30 at the theater.

The show runs about 75 minutes, followed by a question and answer session. Teaching materials are available after booking.

For field trip questions, call 734-673-9507 or go to

Public performances of “How I Became a Pirate” are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 10.

The recently cast musical “Miracle on 34th Street” runs Dec. 6, 7, 8, 13 and 14 at the theater.

For questions about DYPAC, contact Debbie Jackson at 734-671-2202 or or go to

Dearborn actor Lindel Salow performs in Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Sisters Rosensweig” at the Jewish Ensemble Theatre Sept. 25 to Oct. 20 in the Aaron DeRoy Theatre. The theater is located in the lower level of the Jewish Community Center, 6600 W. Maple Rd. in West Bloomfield.

Directed by David Magidson, the cast also features Sandra Birch of Westland, Madison Deadman of Howell, Kristin Condon and Phil Powers of Ann Arbor, Emily Rose of Hazel Park, Eric Eilersen of Almont and William Fowle of Tecumseh.

For tickets and more information call 248-788-2900 or go to

A trio of Broadway blockbusters will come to town now through the New Year, beginning with “Miss Saigon,” Sept. 24 to Oct. 6 at the Fisher Theater, 3011 W. Grand Blvd. in Detroit.

“Mama Mia,” the smash hit musical featuring the music of ABBA, will be in town Nov. 5 to 10 for one week of performances.

When Donna, an independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island plans her daughter Sophie’s wedding, she invites her two lifelong girlfriends and former band mates Rosie, who is practical and no-nonsense, and Tanya, who is wealthy and several times divorced.

However, Sophie, who wants to discover her father’s identity, has secretly invited three possible candidates from her mother’s past to walk her down the aisle.

The result is 24 hours of chaos, and romances rekindled on a lush island paradise.

Familiar featured ABBA songs include “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me.”

The third show, “War Horse,” winner of five 2011 Tony Awards, including best play, premieres in Detroit Dec. 17 and runs through Jan. 5.

It tells a powerful story of young boy, Albert, who is too young to enlist to fight for England in World War I. However, Joey, his beloved horse, leaves with the military forces to serve.

Joey, caught in enemy crossfire, serves both sides of the war before ending up in no man’s land. Albert, meanwhile, risks his life to find his horse and take him home.

Courage, loyalty and friendship make the story a memorable and moving audience favorite.

The Handspring Puppet Company’s life-size puppets are at heart of the show as they bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to life on stage.

Tickets for all shows at the Fisher Theatre are available at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 800-982-2787, and online at and