Interlochen Center for the Arts and Parallel 45 Theatre launch official partnership

The northern Michigan theatre partnership includes a co-production of a new creation by Parallel 45 Theatre featuring Interlochen Arts Academy students and more.

Parallel 45 Theatre and Interlochen Center for the Arts have launched an official partnership, bringing two artistic powerhouses together to provide cutting-edge theatre to northwest Michigan.

The partnership features three components, including the creation of a six-week dedicated residency for directors and theatre-makers to create new material utilizing Interlochen Arts Academy theatre students. The premiere of this residency will be held March 12-14 at Phoenix Theatre on the campus of Interlochen Center for the Arts.

“Our talented students will be given the unique opportunity to create original work in close partnership with theatre professionals from Parallel 45 Theatre,” said Bill Church, the Director of Theatre Arts at Interlochen Center for the Arts. “Parallel 45 Theatre’s commitment to creating vibrant new work will offer our theatre majors an immersive experience in the development process of cutting-edge material.”

Erin Whiting, Executive Director of Parallel 45 Theatre, echoes Church’s enthusiasm for this new partnership.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to deepen our relationship with one of the premier performing arts and educational institutions in the country—that just happens to be in our backyard,” said Whiting. “Not only was Parallel 45 Theatre founded by Arts Academy alumnae, but many of our core artists are alumni, as well. Interlochen gave them a foundation, the beginning of their theatre careers, and Parallel 45 Theatre now brings them back to the region on professional contracts. This partnership completes the circle beautifully, allowing these professionals to work closely with the next generation of theatre artists.”

The second component of the partnership gives Interlochen Arts Academy students the opportunity to apprentice with Parallel 45 Theatre during their summer performance season.

“This past summer I had the opportunity to see several former students make their professional debut in Parallel 45 Theatre productions. I was so proud to see them perform so powerfully alongside the other company members. Parallel 45 Theatre has helped further Interlochen's educational mission by offering these professional performance opportunities to our students,” said Church.

The partnership also includes a collaboration with The MITTEN Lab (A Michigan Incubator for Theatre Talent Emerging Now), an artist residency program founded by Rachel Sussman and Katherine M. Carter. Focusing on the advancement of works in the performing arts, The MITTEN Lab seeks to cultivate early career playwrights, musical theatre composers, lyricists, librettists, choreographers, and performance artists, in an effort to strengthen the development of new theatrical work in Michigan.

Parallel 45 Theatre serves on The MITTEN Lab selection committee and provides directors for the works-in-progress performance, which will feature Interlochen Arts Academy students. This free presentation will be held on Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Harvey Theatre on the campus of Interlochen Center for the Arts.

“Parallel 45 is passionate about providing adventurous, innovative theatre—the kind of theatre you might see in New York, Chicago, or London--to our community. This isn’t possible without strong partnerships with organizations that share our vision and commitment to devising new work, reimagining the classics, and providing rigorous real-world training to inspire and elevate the next generation," said Whiting.