Two Muses finds new location in Waterford theater

By: Mike Koury | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published November 25, 2015

WATERFORD — After wrapping its last production and facing the uncertainty of possibly being homeless, Two Muses Theatre has found a new location.

The theater now will operate at the Monster Box Theatre, located at 2529 Elizabeth Lake Road in nearby Waterford Township, renting on a yearly basis. 

This comes after the theater was kicked out of its old location of five years at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 6800 Orchard Lake Road, when the landlord of the property, Starpoint Property Management, decided not to renew the lease of the bookstore.

Co-founder and Executive Director Diane Hill said she was worried about finding a new space for the nonprofit theater after the ordeal, but she thought the best decision was to move to a theater that already was established.

“We got offers from several other theaters to move in and do our shows there,” she said. “The problem was that you can’t just move in the week of your first performance, because you have to move in your entire set and you have to be able to rehearse there. 

“The deals that we were getting were quite expensive compared to what we’re used to paying. We were quite worried about it.”

That’s when the Monster Box Theatre, about 20 minutes from the old Barnes & Noble, stepped up to offer its space to Two Muses.

Monster Box Theatre Managing and Artistic Director Paul Stark said he’s been a fan of what Hill’s been doing for the past few years with the types of shows that Two Muses has been producing.

Stark and Hill began talking about bringing in Two Muses about a month ago, according to Stark — he said they have similar outlooks on the type of theater and productions they like to put on for the public.

“It seemed like a natural fit for her to bring her productions in and us to operate out of the same space,” he said. “It’s going to be good for everybody. More theater in one place for the area.”

“We’re quite relieved to not only be able to perform our shows, but also to be able to move all of our equipment and rehearse,” Hill said.

Stark said the theater previously tried to put on 20 productions a year, with a show almost every week, but with Two Muses coming in, he said it’ll try to aim for about eight to 10 shows, as it will make things a little easier and offer more time for planning other productions.

“I think it’s going to be good for us to … focus a little more and do not as many shows,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for all of us, I think.”

The Two Muses Theatre wrapped up its final production of the year Nov. 22 with “The Light in the Piazza” and will open April 1, 2016, with a new production, “How I Learned to Drive.”

Two Muses used to operate in a 140-seat theater, Hill said, but with the new open setting, it can accommodate anywhere from 70 to 300 seats.

“Hopefully, we will keep most of our audience based on the strength of our performances,” she said. “And we will gain (a) new audience in the Waterford area.”