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Spring 2013 Events

January • March • April • May • June

Unless noted otherwise, call the Playhouse at the number above for additional information.

Cash Bar GIF Indicates Cash Bar Available for This Event


Wednesday & Thursday
January 23 & 24

January 23, 6:00-8:00 pm
Whitehall City Hall Garden Room

January 24, 6:30-8:00 pm
Whitehall City Hall Garden Room

Auditions and Call Backs for Just Before Sleep

White Lake Youth Theatre (WLYT) Winter Performance Workshop

WLYT LogoStudents grades 6-12 from all school districts are invited to audition for our Winter Performance Workshop piece, Just Before Sleep. This play tells the story of a family that have found themselves without a home due to a fire, and in the confusing and difficult world of living on the street, dealing with social agencies, and struggling to find decent housing and medical care. Just Before Sleep is a timely and relevant story, is beautifully and realistically written, and presents opportunities for students to grow as dramatic actors, learn more about creative staging, and experience genre of theater WLYT hasn’t approached before. We will be partnering with area agencies for education opportunities for students, parents, and audiences. Read more … .

Students should come prepared to play games, perform acting exercises, and read from the script to audition for Just Before Sleep. Students may be called back for a second audition. No prior stage experience necessary to audition.

Students should review the Audition Information and Application Form. Students must bring the completed Application Form with them on January 23rd.


Friday, March 1

7:30 pm

$10 adults,
$5 students


MCACA Logo First Fridays is made possible by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Finvarra's Wren

First Friday Michigan Music Concert Series

This powerful Detroit-based band plays invigorating Irish, Scottish and Celtic-American folk music. Traditional and contemporary songs are punctuated with wonderfully inventive arrangements of jigs, reels and hornpipes, hotly fueled by fiddle, whistles, buttoned accordion, and concertina. Finvarra's Wren has performed at many of North America's top music festivals and venues including the Kennedy Center, the Goderich Celtic Festival, BlissFest, Celtic Fest Mississippi and Ann Arbor's prestigious Ark.

The band is led by Detroit Irish music scene stalwarts Jim Perkins and Cheryl Burns, well known for their sensitive vocals and the inventive musical weaving of Jim's guitar and Cheryl's mountain dulcimer and bodhran. Powerhouse brother-sister duo Asher (button accordion and concertina) and Alison Perkins (vocals, fiddle, and tin whistle) are world renowned for their award-winning playing. Each member of the family has enjoyed successful careers as musical performers, teachers, and recording artists.

"Irish folk band Finvarra's Wren … making the kind of music you'd only hear on the west coast of Ireland. They play traditional Celtic music so heartachingly well that even Finn McCool would be impressed." -Detroit Metro Times, March 2007

Saturday, March 2
7:30 pm

Sunday, March 3
2:00 pm

$10 adults,
$6 students

This production is made possible by a grant from the DTE Energy Foundation.

Just Before Sleep

White Lake Youth Theatre (WLYT) Winter Workshop Performance

WLYT LogoFor a large number of families in America, there is no such place as home. The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that as many as 1.7 million children under 18 have a runaway or homeless episode each year, with 400,000 remaining homeless longer than a week. Theatrically structured in both the present and the past, Just Before Sleep gives voice and dignity to a mother and her two children who struggle to survive on the streets while seeking shelter through the maze of social agencies. Fourteen-year-old Justin tries to be a normal teenager while coming to terms with the sudden changes that have upended his life. This play, which won the American Alliance for Theatre & Education's New Play contest, has been produced around the country at regional theaters, youth theaters, and universities. Just Before Sleep is a story of unexpected friendships, fierce love, and survival. The Playhouse is partnering with area agencies to provide educational opportunities for students, parents, and audiences about homelessness in Muskegon County. We will be collecting non-perishable food items at each performance. Suggested items include: peanut butter, crackers, soup, pasta, pasta sauce, cereal, hamburger/tuna helper, canned meat, diapers (sizes 4-6), razors, shaving cream, pain relievers (aspirin, ibuprofen), travel size Kleenex, chapstick, and deodorant (men's & women's). We hope you will join us for this emotional, but excellent show.

This show is recommended for students 5th grade and up.

Saturday, March 16

7:30 pm

$10 adults,
$5 students,
$20 for a family of 4

Pony Up!

A Musical Event for the White Lake Food Pantry

Tommy FosterSpend an evening at your favorite theater with some great musicians to raise money for the White Lake Food Pantry at Lebanon Lutheran Church in Whitehall. Featuring Whitehall musicians the Edukators and Tommy Foster, it's sure to be a great night of music! The White Lake Food Pantry provides resources for thousands of individuals each year from the greater White Lake area.

Funds from this concert will help reach a fundraising goal that will earn thousands of matching grant dollars from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. To volunteer or donate, call Lebanon Lutheran Church at 231•893•5745.


Monday, April 1 - Thursday, April 4

3rd through 5th grades
12 to 2 pm
$25.00 fee

6th through 12th grades
2 to 5 pm
$35 fee

Registration deadline: March 31

Spring Break Performing Arts Workshop

The Playhouse and the Nuveen Community Center for the Arts will again collaborate this spring to offer a four day Performing Arts Workshop (PAW) for elementary through high school age students during Spring Break at the Howmet Playhouse. Students will have a chance to participate in many aspects of theatre performance, including acting, dance, audition skills, set painting, and directing. Each subject will be taught by a specialist in that field, creating a well rounded performing arts experience. This week-long workshop is perfect for younger students just starting to explore theater and older students looking to brush up on performance skills and technical knowledge.

To register your student, call the Nuveen Center at 894-2787. Registration deadline is March 31.

Friday, April 5

7:30 pm

$10 adults,
$5 students

MCACA Logo First Fridays is made possible by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affair


The Lincoln County Process

First Fridays Michigan Music Concert Series

The Lincoln County ProcessThe Lincoln County Process, featuring Jen Sygit, Sam Corbin, Geoff Lewis, and Joe VanAcker, is a Americana / Folk / Roots / Blues band based out of Lansing, Michigan. After years of touring as an acoustic duo, Jen and Sam expanded their collaboration, eventually forming the electric band they are today. With soulful vocals and rich harmonies, the group brings a new sound to their wide selection of original music.

Sam and Jen performed for the first time at the Playhouse in April 2010, and we are excited to welcome them back! You can listen to one of Playhouse Manager Katie Trzaska’s favorite Sam Corbin tunes, “Say You Will”, at Sam’s website.

Thursday, Friday, & Saturday,
April 11-13

Auditions will be at the Playhouse

See Nuveen Center website for more information and audition forms

Nuveen Center Theater Auditions

Nuveen logoVariety Show Musical: Three Ring Circus
You're a Good Man Charlie Brown

Auditions for Variety Show Musical: Three Ring Circus will be April 11 & 12 at the Playhouse for students in grades K-12. Additional information and audition forms are available on the Nuveen Center website.

Auditions for You're a Good Man Charlie Brown will be April 13 at the Playhouse for students age 15-20 from 10 am to 12 noon. Callbacks will begin at 1:00 pm. Students not able to attend auditions on April 13 may come to the alternative audition time on Sunday, April 14, at 1:00 pm, or call the Nuveen Center to schedule an alternative time. Additional information and audition forms are available on the Nuveen Center website.

Friday, April 19

7:30 pm

$10 adults,
$5 students

The Bluegrass Echoes in Concert

Bluegrass Echoes logoFrom White Cloud, Michigan, the Bluegrass Echoes have been playing traditional bluegrass and gospel music since 1982 under the direction of bandleader J.R. Harrington. Band members include J.R. on guitar and lead vocals, Tia Brown on upright bass and tenor vocals, and Larry Brown on five string banjo. Fourteen-year-old Jesse Kent joined the band in August 2010 and has been playing the fiddle since the age of seven. Father and son Ben and Mike Crofoot, play mandolin and lead guitar, respectively. It will be a great night of traditional bluegrass and a fun way welcome spring to West Michigan!

Tuesdays & Wednesdays
April 9-24

6:00-8:00 pm

Registration is now open and the deadline April 8; this class is capped at 16 students.

Class Fee is $25, payable at the first class.

Dance Basics for Theatre
WLYT Workshop

This class, with instructor Katie Trzaska, will focus on teaching the basic tenets of dance for any level theater student to help them become more comfortable dancing on stage! The class will cover stretching, basic dance moves, characterization through dance, and the basics of stage choreography—associating movement with music/lyrics, formations, & partnering work. Vocal instructor Brianna Clark will teach a unit on voice for musical theater, and then students will dance and sing a final production number for friends and family at the end of the workshop. Students will walk away more confident in their ability to move on stage, whether in a straight play or musical. Closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothes required. Some homework may be assigned during the class.

For students grades 5-12; must have performed in one WLYT or other production to participate.

Thursday, April 25

6:30 pm

Doors open at 6:00 pm

WLEHP LogoRestoring White Lake Educational Film Series

The White Lake Environmental History Project began in June 2012 and tries to answer questions about the pollution of White Lake and the environmental cleanup that has followed. Join the team for educational films and discussions on the project and how the public can become more involved.

Today's film is The Tragedy of White Lake, a 1970s film produced by GVSU about the White Lake pollution issue.

Saturday April 27

7:30 pm

Tickets required as there is limited seating

Free will donations will be collected

The David Yonker Band in Concert

Christian Rock for a Cause. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Family Promise of the Lakeshore.

The members of the David Yonker Band are musicians who show age doesn’t discriminate when it comes to rock and roll. Their music has a message of the goodness of our God, along with a sound which stimulates and captivates people of all ages. They believe strongly in the power of music and the lyrics in the songs to inspire others. From Big Rapids, the band features a variety of mucisians. Appearing on the 27th will be David Yonker on guitar and vocals, Ken Kacel on keyboard, Sheryl Bates on drums and vocals, Jeff Bates on bass, and Zach Kacel on lead guitar. All the band members have a life-long love of music. The band appeared at Unity Fest in Muskegon in 2011 and play around the state on a regular basis.

Family Promise Lakeshore logoFamily Promise of the Lakeshore is a non-profit organization that seeks to help families of Northern Ottawa and Muskegon Counties who are experiencing homelessness. It was founded in 2009 and is part of a national faith-based network wshich seeks to fulfill a very basic need: dignified short-term housing for families experiencing homelessness, with an emphasis on maintaining the family unit, and with the goal of helping the family identify and sustain permanent housing. Family Promise works with 13 host churches and 8 support churches of different denominations to provide housing and services in our community.

Sunday April 28

4:00 pm

Kids 15 and under free

Available at City Hall or the door

Jesse KentAn Afternoon of Classical Violin and Irish Fiddling

The Playhouse will be filled with the beautiful sound of classical violin followed by some toe-tapping fiddling! West Shore Symphony Orchestra member Natalie Hockamier and Kent Philharmonia Orchestra member Ryan Pott will be performing together with Jesse Kent, 14 year old violinist and fiddler, and Kyle Rice, 16 year old guitarist, to help raise funds for Jesse Kent to tour Europe this summer with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Monday & Tuesday
April 29 & 30

Class Fee is $30

Auditions: April 29
6:00-9:00 pm at the Howmet Playhouse

Callbacks: April 30 6:00-8:00 pm at the Howmet Playhouse

June 17-July 24
July 25, 26, & 27

Auditions & Callbacks for
the WLYT Summer Performance Workshop Production of
Fearsome Pirate Frank

The WLYT Summer Performance workshop is a great opportunity for students from 3rd through 12th grades to have fun and learn about theater! Students will work with an instructor for six weeks rehearsing for performances in July. Students will work on character development, physical and internal acting, physical comedy and drama, projection and diction, and have an opportunity to help with costumes, sets, and properties for the production. Student can also work backstage or as board operators for the production.

Students should come to the auditions prepared to play games, perform acting exercises, and read from the script to audition for the Summer Performance Workshop. Students may be called back for a second audition. No prior stage experience necessary to audition. Students cast in this show may also audition for and participate in the Nuveen Theatre Workshop’s show in June 2013, as they do not conflict.

Download the list of Character Roles* available for this production.

*This is a PDF file and depending upon your browser the file may open in a new window or be downloaded directly to your computer. Either way you may save it and print it.


Thursday, May 2

6:30 pm

Doors open at 6:00 pm

WLEHP LogoRestoring White Lake Educational Film Series

The White Lake Environmental History Project began in June 2012 and tries to answer questions about the pollution of White Lake and the environmental cleanup that has followed. Join the team for educational films and discussions on the project and how the public can become more involved.

Today's film is This is Not a Chocolate Factory. This film was produced by filmmaker and former local resident, Dave Ruck, about the pollution of White Lake by the former Hooker Chemical Company.

Friday, May 3

7:30 pm

$10 adults
$5 students

MCACA Logo First Fridays is made possible by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affair

Dragon Wagon

First Fridays Michigan Music Concert Series

Dragon WagonDragon Wagon is Michigan Roots music at its finest! Each performance is built on originality, fun, and expert musicianship, quickly making the band one of Michigan's premier bluegrass outfits. Dragon Wagon's honest sound and genuine crowd connection never disappoint, and appeal to all audiences. The combination of mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass and drums guarantees an infectious energy that gets every crowd dancing! The band formed in 2008, and is now based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dragon Wagon has shared the stage with acts like Seth and May, Greensky Bluegrass, the Magnetic Zeros, and Playhouse friends Joshua Davis and Steppin’ In It. They have performed in venues such as the Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, the NCAA Final Four in Detroit, the Michigan Roots Jamboree in Ypsilanti, and the Dunegrass Festival in Empire, Michigan.

Saturday, May 4

7:30 pm

Tickets: $15

Cash Bar GIF Michigan beer and food will be available for purchase.

6th Annual White Lake Blues Fest

Killer Blues logoFundraiser for Killer Blues

Join KillerBlues for the 6th Annual White Lake Blues Fest! The opening solo act for this year will be Brian Curran of St. Louis, the headliner will be Zora Young of Chicago. The annual Blues Fest raises funds for the Killer Blues Headstone Project, which provides headstones for unmarked graves of blues legends throughout the country.

This event is sponsored by Northland Insurance.

Friday, May 17

7:30 pm

$10 adults,
$5 students

Ben Bedford in Concert

Ben BedfordWe are excited to welcome friend Ben Bedford back to the Playhouse for his fourth visit to the White Lake area! Ben graced the Playhouse stage with his acoustic music in 2010 and 2011, and appeared in June 2012 as part of the Arts Council of White Lake’s Free Summer Concert Series. With the release of his third album, What We Lost, Ben establishes himself as a songwriter in the tradition of musical icons ranging from Bill Morrissey to Woody Guthrie, casting individual people in the theater of the American landscape.

In the past five years since the release of his first album, Bedford has played his songs for audiences all over the United States hitting notable venues such as The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Folkstage in Chicago, and the Fayetteville Roots Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His music has received extensive airplay on folk and roots radio in the U.S., as well as in Europe, taking him overseas on several occasions for concert dates on the continent and in the United Kingdom. We guarantee a night of great music you will never forget!

You can listen to Ben’s music at CDBaby.

Sunday, May 19

3:00 pm

$10 adults,
$5 students

Tickets on sale now at City Hall, available at the door

Jazz in the Afternoon with Checkers Morton

A Benefit for Blue Lake Public Radio

Checkers MortonCheckers Morton began 40 years ago as a group of musicians doing group improvisation at a warehouse coffee shop in Grand Haven. A diverse group of young, but experienced players bonded together to experiment with sounds and ideas, quickly developing some very exciting and original concepts. Much of the music they play today still remains as an echo of these early days. The group as it is today consists of original members Dave Collee, Bob VanStee, and Jim Beegle, with more recent additions Tim Froncek and Dan Giacobossi. The mix of music is a variety of original music and jazz classics. You really never know what to expect when they take the stage, one minute playing music from McCoy or Miles, then getting bluesy or funky, and the next exploring where no musical man has gone before. Always interesting and entertaining, the Mortons are a guarenteed good time.

Blue Lake Puiblic Radio logoJazz in the Afternoon is a fundraiser for WBLV, Blue Lake Public Radio, your source for classical, jazz, blues, and bluegrass/folk music, as well as NPR programming. The Howmet Playhouse is a proud partner of WBLV.

Monday, May 20

7:00 pm

Doors open at 6:30 pm

Mindful Mondays Community Wellness Series

Health Care ShieldCreate an ideal lifestyle through conscious thought, movement, and community connection. Join us May 13th and 20th in identifying and practicing positive daily habits for increased joy, improved relationships, and long-lasting health benefits.

Learn more by visiting the Mindful Mondays Community Wellness website.

May 20th: Community Connections


Thursday, June 6

5:00 to 8:00 pm

$15 in advance
$20 at the gate
Kids 7 and under free

Price covers admission and food. Beverages sold separately

Taste of White Lake—2013TOWL logo

A Fundraiser for the Howmet Playhouse

Come join us for a community of flavors at the 5th Annual Taste of White Lake, the largest annual fundraiser for the Playhouse. A mix of local businesses will join forces to provide an evening of fun, great food, Michigan beer & wine, live music, and a silent auction, all benefiting the Playhouse. Don't miss out on this delicious event.

Visit the Taste of White Lake website for complete details including the list of participating vendors and our event sponsors.

Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
June 13, 14, & 15

7:30 pm

Mini-Carnival 6:45 pm

Tickets $6 per person

Three-Ring Circus

3 Ring CircusA Nuveen Theatre Workshop

Follow the ups and downs of life on the road with a travelling circus troupe in this hilarious musical variety show directed by Alice Gambel. Featuring classic songs from your favorite movies and stage productions, along with brand new characters, delightful dances, and astounding circus acts, the local youth talent in this Three-Ring Circus is sure to amaze you! As loyal Nuveen Theatre audience members have come to expect, director Alice Gambel has crafted a show that is as much fun for the adult audience members as it is for the youngsters. Bring the whole family, or come by yourself, for an evening of big top entertainment. Arrive early to win some prizes at our mini-midway (weather permitting).

Special thanks to all the individuals and local businesses that have made the Nuveen Theatre Workshop possible through sponsorships and to the White Lake Lothmann Family Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County for the challenge grant that inspired so many to give!