Peppermint Creek offers safe theater
By Chloe Gregg
Although the days of us joining inside of a theater to watch a show are at least temporarily over, that doesn’t mean theater is gone.
The staff of Peppermint Creek Theater Company (PCTC) of Lansing has taken it upon themselves to present their shows in ways that everyone can participate worry-free, whether it be drive-in style, virtual, radio or something else.
“Peppermint Creek is honored to be dedicating our entire 2020-21 season to amplifying important (minority) groups in our community, and to be raising questions about how we’ve ignored them for so long, how we can learn from them, and how we can celebrate them,” the PCTC website states.
With its 18th season as a nonprofit in full swing, PCTC’s mission is to address current issues and create dialogue through its productions. For this special season and the first time ever, PCTC will be putting on these productions for free and in atypical ways.
“Our history has always been about creating theatre that’s produced in a typical way, i.e. theater on a stage with an audience sitting together to watch the show,” said Chad Swan-Badgero, the artistic director of PCTC.
“With quarantine and laws governing safety, we really thought as a theater company about how we can still address current issues and still present theatrical content that doesn’t necessarily require us being in a theater, formally, with an audience, in person.”
The first event of the season will be October 22 through 24, drive-in movie style in downtown Lansing. Titled “Hear Our Cry,” the event will be about highlighting diverse voices both from across American history as well as highlighting those same groups of people with current modern-day authors.
“Our second event (‘Let Us Breathe’ in February of 2021) is highlighting the voices of black and brown individuals directly from the Lansing area,” Swan-Badgero said. “We are partnering with the Lansing State Journal and their Storytellers project, which has been around for over seven years.”
For one night, April 9, 2021, during holocaust remembrance week, PCTC will produce “Holocaust Cantata: Songs from the Camps.” This production is made up of text taken directly from letters that were written by prisoners in the Holocaust camps.
PCTC’s final event of the season will be in late May and will highlight the voices of teachers, educators, and students. In collaboration with a DeWitt teacher and DeWitt students, PCTC will share important and unheard stories from the classrooms of America.
For more information, visit http://www.peppermintcreek.org/2020–21-season.html