This week for Music Monday, we are straying a little bit from talking about the amazing bands of Michigan and swinging the focus to a budding musical theater production company, Four Cornered Productions, in Traverse City. The four founders of the company, Brett and Kristina Nichols, and Brian and Michelle Dungjen are all Northern Michigan community theater regulars who came together over their love of a particular show. That show is The Rocky Horror Show.
In spring of 2006, the Old Town Playhouse in Traverse City put on a wonderful production of this cult classic. Brett Nichols and Brian Dungjen were already working together, during the original TC run of the show, only as director and actor. The thrill of that first run left these two men talking about bringing it back, ever since.
“The show was a blast, to say the least, and it was surprisingly popular with the local audiences. Since that time, Brian and I have talked about wanting to produce the show again for Traverse City audiences,” says Nichols. “Years of idle chat about it over barley pops turned into reality when one night we just said, ‘Let’s do this and stop just talking about it’.”
The Rocky Horror Show has been cast, and has begun rehearsal. The cast list alone is reason enough not to miss it. This show will go up July 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st with a few midnight showings for tradition and will be performed at the Traverse City Opera House.
When asked about what the future holds for Four Cornered Productions I was a little surprised by Nichols’s response.
“First, survive Rocky. After that, we hope to be able to produce some educational programs throughout the year, as well as perform smaller shows in a variety of venues, from schools to in-patient care facilities. We want to collaborate, not compete with local entertainment venues, with the goal of continuing to raise the quality level and accessibility of local theater.”
The folks that make up Four Cornered Productions truly realize how important the arts are to our communities.
“We are so proud of the citizens of Michigan–Traverse City in particular–for continuing to support the arts, when government arts funding continues to be cut,” says Nichols. “Michigan seems to get it. The arts are important, not only for entertainment, but they provide a venue to create, speak, and develop. Young people just getting started in the arts are finding confidence, their inner creativity and a voice. The importance of the arts–in particular, theater (musical or non)– cannot be overstated.”
So, whether you are a lover of the cult classic The Rocky Horror Show, or just a proud supporter of the arts, make sure to check out Four Cornered Productions. Michigan is full of high caliber musical theater companies, so if you need your Broadway fix, just head on up to Traverse City this summer and join the cast members in what is sure to be a rousing rendition of The Time Warp!
Like them on Facebook, to follow their productions.