Parallel 45 Theatre is going above and beyond to bring more than just local theater to the Traverse City area and beyond. Hear from their managing director about P45’s mission, future plans, upcoming Northern Michigan events and the 2022 Summer Festival

The Parallel 45 Theatre 2022 Season is in full swing, with monthly play readings and the Summer Theatre Festival on its way starting in June. Despite, drawbacks due to the pandemic, P45 is still bringing three dazzling shows to the stage and providing opportunities for local youth in the community. 

MyNorth caught up with Susan Fisher, managing director of P45, to get the scoop behind the summer festival, featuring Cabaret, Alice and The Crucible, and learn more about P45’s mission. 

Parallel 45 Theater Summer 2022 Festival

Photo by Parallel 45 Theatre

Q&A with Parallel 45 Theatre

What’s your favorite part of working with Parallel 45 Theatre?
I’ve been with P45 since Spring 2021, and am so pleased to be working in nonprofit performance arts. P45’s vision of “familiar stories for the adventurous mind” provides important stories to our Northern Michigan community. To be able to work with artists from all across the country here in Traverse City making professional theatre is a true joy.

Tell us more about Parallel 45 Theatre’s mission?
Parallel 45 Theatre produces cutting-edge interpretations of plays and musicals, giving familiar stories a new life – and fresh relevance – for our northwest Michigan audience. By producing a Summer Theatre Festival of reinvented classics, new works and imaginative adaptations, we seek to entertain, encourage critical thought, and inspire conversation in our community.

What are you excited about with this year’s 2022 Summer Festival?
It’s such an amazing season, we kick off late June with Cabaret, add in The Crucible mid-July, and end the season with our devised student production of ALICE: A Rock Musical. It’s always so exciting to have our incredible team of technicians and performers arrive from around the country, to live in Northern Michigan and create the magic of theater under the sun and stars. We have some returning members of our Summer Company back again this year, and also get to introduce some new people to Traverse City (the best place to spend your summer!).

What opportunities do you provide to local youth?
We have an incredible education program called Youthquake offering camps, classes and private lessons year-round from Kindergarten to Senior year (and beyond!). Students develop skills both useful on and off stage, growing through levels of learning and playing, and leave with a better understanding of their theater future. Programs are available after school, on weekends, and full week camps, season depending.

How has Parallel 45 Theatre evolved over the years?
Parallel 45 started off as a small nonprofit organization in 2010, and in the following 12 years has brought over 150 artists–from as far away as Berlin and as close as Traverse City–to bring groundbreaking shows to Traverse City. Moving from a small black box theatre at InsideOut to the Amphitheatre at Civic Center Park, P45 has increased its reach to our Northern Michigan community by redefining itself as a summer festival with multiple rotating shows each season. By offering adventurous professional work you might only see in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, P45 continues to teach our audiences what professional theater locally can be.

What are you looking forward to in the future? Any exciting updates to share?
When we launched our new venue and summer festival in 2019, we couldn’t have expected to only have one season before the pandemic canceled our 2020 plans. We were so thankful to be able to perform last summer to sold-out audiences and bring live theater back to the P45 Amphitheatre, albeit in less than normal conditions, on the lawn, with a theater “bubble” for our company. As we go full swing into 2022, we’re back under the tent with incredible plans to produce a dazzling season in a more intimate setting, while still adhering to some limitations the pandemic leaves us with, keeping our audiences and company safe.

Parallel 45 Theater members dancing

Photo by Parallel 45 Theatre

2022 Summer Theatre Festival

CABARET | June 30 – July 26, 2022
Grab a drink and sing along to your favorite jazzy tunes. P45 opens the 2022 summer festival with a radiantly contemporary theatrical experience of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, bursting at the seams with sparkle, feathers, brilliance and heart. A powerful story, Cabaret will show you that sometimes the best way to fit in is to stand out.

THE CRUCIBLE | July 15 – July 24, 2022
UK-based Director Michael Burditt Norton brings Arther Miller’s The Crucible to life in a compelling, iconoclastic and irreverent spin on this central work in the American canon. Norton’s The Crucible, featuring a lean ensemble playing all 22 characters, is a gutsy examination of history and current events.

ALICE: A ROCK MUSICAL | July 28 – July 31, 2022
Join us for ALICE: A Rock Musical, an original parody production created and performed by P45’s Youthquake Company and directed by Daniel Lendzian. A twisted take on a beloved tale, ALICE brings new life into Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with a Queen of Hearts origin story for the ages. Through pop-rock hits from the ‘90s and 2000s, ALICE is a rebellious tale of discovering the strength in one’s heart.

Parallel 45 Theater acting

Photo by Parallel 45 Theatre

Photo(s) by Parallel 45 Theatre