From left, Mara Kapsis, of Detroit; Mark Hinton, of Warren; Alonzo Luzon, of Farmington; Christine Kapusky Moore, of Canton; Shannon LaFrate, of Clinton Township; and Jared Hoffert, of Ann Arbor, perform in “Working — A Musical.” This photo was taken in the spring, prior to the pandemic.

From left, Mara Kapsis, of Detroit; Mark Hinton, of Warren; Alonzo Luzon, of Farmington; Christine Kapusky Moore, of Canton; Shannon LaFrate, of Clinton Township; and Jared Hoffert, of Ann Arbor, perform in “Working — A Musical.” This photo was taken in the spring, prior to the pandemic.

Photo provided by Erin McKay


Royal Oak, Troy theater companies to present ‘Working — A Musical’

By: Sarah Wojcik | C&G Newspapers | Published September 22, 2020

 Jared Hoffert, of Ann Arbor, performs.

Jared Hoffert, of Ann Arbor, performs.

Photo provided by Erin McKay

 Christine Kapusky Moore, of Canton, performs.

Christine Kapusky Moore, of Canton, performs.

Photo provided by Erin McKay

 Mara Kapsis, of Detroit, brings another character to life.

Mara Kapsis, of Detroit, brings another character to life.

Photo provided by Erin McKay

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ROYAL OAK/TROY — After shuttering March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stagecrafters recently announced a unique collaboration with Ridgedale Players in Troy to provide a live outdoor theater experience Sept 25-27 and Oct. 2-4.

Actors will perform “Working — A Musical” in an open air setting on the grounds of Ridgedale Players, 205 W. Long Lake Road, west of Livernois Road. Parking will be available on-site.

Originally a Stagecrafters’ second-stage production at the Royal Oak-based Baldwin Theatre, the pandemic foiled the theater’s run of “Working — A Musical.” According to a Stagecrafters press release, the cancellation was heartbreaking to the cast, crew and patrons who learned just a day before opening that the show would not go on.

“This is a great opportunity for our two groups to work together to bring live theatre back to our communities,” Stagecrafters Board President Vince DeRita said in a statement. “This pandemic has made our community realize how much we all miss live theatre. We are looking forward to putting on a good show and following CDC guidelines to keep everyone safe.”

In August, Stagecrafters pitched the idea to Ridgedale Players and the two theater groups worked quickly to put together a plan for an outdoor production once an agreement was in place.

“They say that every bad situation brings about unexpected results. This pandemic is no different,” Ridgedale Players President Sandra Deering said in a statement. “Community theaters, by and large, work independently to bring quality entertainment to the community and provide an outlet for performing artists to practice their craft and express themselves.”

Deering highlighted the irony of the situation.

“The very thing that shut us down is also the thing that has forced us to look at our fellow organizations and recognize that through collaboration, we as a team have the unique opportunity to deliver live theater in a safe manner,” she continued in the statement. “We are proud to be able to rise to this challenge and bring this shared experience to the community.”

“Working — A Musical” is based on a book by Studs Terkel. Director Ryan Lawson read the book in high school and, once he learned the book had been turned into a musical, knew he wanted to direct it.

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manual Miranda, Broadway composer Mary Rodgers and singer-songwriter James Taylor contributed to the musical.

The cast — composed of three men and three women — tells the story of more than 26 characters.

“They tell us about the indelible souls of the American worker, the iron worker, the waitress, the teacher. This gives us a great insight into how work defines who we are, yet also how we can’t be defined only by our work,” Lawson said in a statement. “Lin-Manuel Miranda probably said it best when he said this show is for anyone who works, has worked, or wants to work.”

Tickets for “Working — A Musical” cost $15 and are available online at stagecrafters.org. Seating is limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Stagecrafters encourages interested parties to purchase tickets in advance online. Door ticket availability is not guaranteed.

Attendees should bring their own seating, as chairs and blankets will not be provided. The Ridgedale Players’ building will be open for restroom use. The approximately 90-minute show has no intermission.

If the weather appears inclement, patrons can call Ridgedale Players at (248) 988-7049 to find out if the show will run.

For more information, visit stagecrafters.org or call the Stagecrafters box office at (248) 541-6430.

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