The first sign of fall in Midtown Detroit isn’t the changing color of the leaves … it’s the changing look of the sidewalks and streets as students from Wayne State University reappear for the new school year.
And this week, at the Northeast corner of Canfield and Cass Avenue, things are about to get really vibrant. WSU Assistant Professor and Head MFA in Theatre Set Design Pegi
Marshall‐Amundsen, Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company’s Executive Artistic Director Frannie Shepherd‐Bates, Wayne State University scenic design graduate students, and members of the midtown community are launching a performing arts initiative aptly named, “A LOT of Space.” The idea is to create an innovative space for theatre companies and performers to use in bringing live theatre to the neighborhood.
This project is supported by WSU’s Office of Economic Development and is offered through ArtsCorpsDetroit – a community-based program at WSU that offers service-learning courses and volunteer opportunities for students and others who want to help revitalize the urban community through the arts. ArtsCorpsDetroit’s Lots of Art program specifically seeks to reinvent Detroit’s vacant lots through art. Its purpose is to affect the social and economic fabric of the city – a collaborative effort to evoke neighborhood pride and empower individuals with the creative impetus to transform their lives and their environment.
“A LOT of Space” is offered as a Lots of Art project, but takes this to the next level – focusing not just on an art installation, but on creating a visually compelling, working performance space in an empty lot near the WSU campus. It will bring life to an empty corner of Midtown for a brief moment in time, and will engage the community to help support a local homeless theatre company, while also calling attention to the green initiatives in the Midtown area by using donated, recycled furniture, household goods and building materials.
This project launches September 10 and continues to evolve over the course of a three-phase plan, concluding October 22, 2012.
Phase One – CREATION: September 10-18. This phase consists primarily of Lot Transformation, collecting donated materials, furniture, etc., and the building and installation of the central stage. We sense the influence of Magenta Giraffe here, as the planned central stage area will be magenta.
Phase Two – LIFE: September 19 – October 18. During this time, performers will have the opportunity to exhibit their work between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.daily.
Phase Three – RE-CREATION: October 19-22. This phase will include a culminating weekend Lot Sale, to relocate materials, and a community dinner.
Those interested in volunteering during any phase of the event should contact Pegi Marshall-Amundsen at email@example.com.
Donations of furniture, household appliances, objet d’art and building materials can be dropped off at the lot at Canfield and Cass. Or just stop by to check out progress and cheer people on.
Those interested in performing can request an application by sending an email to Frannie Shepherd-Bates at firstname.lastname@example.org – not through WSU or ArtsCorpsDetroit. Performers should note that extensive profanity, nudity and real or simulated drug use will not be allowed.
This is a great opportunity to participate in the vibrant Detroit theatre experience. And if you’re looking for inspiration, why not check out all the things going on over at Magenta Giraffe. And don’t forget that the Hilberry Theatre’s season opener, Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” opens September 21.
Yes, it looks like autumn at last.