Theatre In the Great Lakes Bay Region

World Premiere of a New Documentary Happening at Pit & Balcony • Monday, October 15th

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Theatre,   By: Robert E Martin

26th September, 2018     0

Matthew Ticar and Nathan Hanley will debut their new documentary titled Theatre in the Great Lakes Bay Region on Monday, October 15th at Pit & Balcony, 805 N. Hamilton St. in Saginaw.

The film  interviews actors, directors, and people involved with the region’s three major community theatre troupes, Midland Center for the Arts, Bay City Players and Pit & Balcony and examines what drives the organizations and makes them such vibrant entities.  Doors open at 6 pm and the premiere screening begins at 7 pm. Admission is free and this will be a catered event.

According to Hanley, he began work on the film as a Senior High School project. “It started as a short 10-minute promo for the three major theatres we have in the region and then as I got more into it the project started taking a different direction and evolved into a medium length documentary about theatre in the area,” explains Hanley.

When asked what he feels distinguishes the three major community theatre groups in the region, Hanley says that through his work and involvement at Pit & Balcony,  he knew how special the Great Lakes Bay area was.

“Immediately, two things struck me: first is the abundance of community theatres in the region, in addition to the smaller theatrical troupes and groups; and secondly is the sheer number of talent in this area, which I can’t tell you where it comes from.  It’s weird at the amount of talented performers we are fortunate to have from this region and the number of famous actors that have also come out of it.”

Hanley feels that the new documentary serves a dual purpose. “One is to educate people not into the theatre community and show them and convince them of the fact they live in a real special area,” he explains. “Secondly, the crescendo of the movie is showing how special we are collectively as a creative force, so that we have something to show off about how amazing and powerful we are in terms of the theatrical arts.”

Nathan adds that he could not have brought this project to completion without the invaluable assistance of his partner, Matthew Ticar.  “I was fortunate to get Matthew on board as my Senior Mentor with this project at the inception,” he explains.  “I knew the community theatres in this region like the back of my hand, but needed someone with video experience to bring my ideas to fruition. Matthew worked with the Saginaw Spirit and for me it’s been a real learning experience, learning the actual mechanics of film-making and what works and doesn’t work. I learned so much from him.”

When asked what it is about the theatre that drew him into it, Nathan says it began with his interest in school plays. “I was always a guy with too much energy for the people around me to handle, so I liked doing plays in Middle School. I didn’t know about Pit & Balcony until my freshman year at high school when I had an instructor who told me all about it, so I signed up for theatre and did a workshop at P&B and really enjoyed the draw of doing what I loved but on a bigger stage.  Slowly that evolved to the point where I say, ‘Yeah, I think this is what I want to do in life.”

Nathan says that in addition to the World Premier on October 15th, he would also like to show the documentary at other venues.  “Matthew and I have talked about putting it into some film festivals and are looiing at different options for it. Probably, we’ll take a little break and get back into it.”









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