Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

Civic Theatre Seeks A More Diverse Audience

Apr 1, 2016
Rob Bradford (middle) plays George Banks in the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre's production of Mary Poppins
Fred Western

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre is making big strides to try to diversify its audience and get more people of color in the seats. For a place like the Civic that pays the bills through popular, well-known shows - that's a challenge.

Fred Western

A specific question has been on the minds of a lot of people in the Kalamazoo arts community lately: What happens when the media changes, and arts coverage from the local newspaper shrinks in just a few short years?  The shift has happened fast in Kalamazoo. Now, arts leaders have a plan to collaborate on a new arts publication. Its purpose: to serve as a hub for listings, reviews and arts features for Southwest Michigan. 

Development Director Brett Carr gives a short tour of the Civic Theatre after the announcement about the theatre's restoration.
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre is seeking $5.1 million to restore its building on South Street. Among other things, the theatre needs new heating and cooling systems in the building and several technology upgrades such as Wi-Fi and digital archives. 

Courtesy of Kalamazoo Civic

Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers' beloved book character, transitioned from film to stage in 2004, when writer Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) and musical team Robert and Richard Sherman debuted their adaptation in London's West End.  Mary Poppins is the Kalamazoo Civic's holiday offering this year, opening on November 20th. 

Fred Western

The Kalamazoo Civic will open its 87th season with the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical Evita, which is based on the true-life story of Eva Perón, whose rise from the slums of Buenos Aires to First Lady of Argentina is the stuff of high drama. Abbey Brooks, who was cast in the lead role of Eva Peron, will be sharing the role on alternating weekends with another actor, Hannah Hesseltine. The roles of both Eva and Che have been double-cast due to their vocal demands.