Williamston Theatre receives grants to help with maintenance, operation

By Megan Cochrane
The Williamston Post

The Williamston Theatre has been a landmark in town since it opened in 2006. However, it was not until 2014 that the small, not-for-profit, professional live theatre company took ownership of its building at 122 S. Putnam St. At more than 120 years old, the structure requires improvements and repairs. Funding for such maintenance is not always easy to find, but grants from several organizations have allowed the theatre to maintain a quality experience for audiences. According to Emily Sutton-Smith, development director of Williamston Theatre, the theatre’s annual budget is $471,000.

Williamston Theatre hopes to draw new audiences

By Jacob Allen
The Williamston Post

The Williamston Theatre’s production of Sirens began March 26 and will run through April 26. The play is written by Deborah Laufer and is directed by Tony Caselli. Sirens is a collaboration with the Michigan State University Department of Theatre and has two students in the cast. The theater is located in downtown Williamston and was founded in 2005 by John Lepard, Christine Purchis, Emily Sutton-Smith and Tony Caselli. According to Caselli, who has been directing plays for 19 years, the theater is a not-for-profit organization.

The Williamston Theatre’s 50th show

By Tiago Zielske
The Williamston Post

When Ruth learns a revealing secret about the family’s ancestors from her grandmother on her deathbed, she is compelled to tell this story to the rest of the family.  It is revealed to the Nowaks that their ancestors were not Catholic, but actually Jewish, the family is immediately shaken. The family matriarch, Clara, is brought to tears. The family doesn’t know how to react to the sudden change in faith. The family fights with one another about what to do, but by the end of the play the family embraces their newly discovered change in faith and embrace one another.

Williamston Theater receives grant

By Tiago Zielske
The Williamston Post

The Williamston Theatre has won the National Theatre Company Grant honor from the American Theatre Wing. Best known for being the creator of The Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards, the American Theatre Wing awarded 12 theaters this year with its National Theatre Company Grant. Williamston Theatre has been awarded $12,000 to help with general operations. According to the American Theatre Wing website, companies chosen to receive the grants have “articulated a distinctive mission, cultivated an audience and nurtured a community of artists in ways that strengthen the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American Theatre.”

“It’s great to get this validation of our work. We’re in terrific company, as the other theaters recognized are doing some really groundbreaking work and having a great impact on their respective communities,” said Development Director Emily Sutton-Smith.

Williamston Theatre recognized as a treasured downtown charm

By RuAnne Walworth
Williamston Post staff writer

Williamston Theatre, founded in 2006, is a treasured charm of downtown Williamston. With award-winning productions and a homey downtown feel, the success of the theater continues to make its founders proud. “I believe that what gets us, what makes us, at our core human beings, the reason why we are here and why we are going through this journey is to connect with each other and to relate to each other and the best way to do that is to tell stories,” said Emily Sutton-Smith. “Theater is a great way to do that.”

Sutton Smith is one of the four founders and development director of the theater. The founders of the theater strive to establish a homey feel for visitors.