Theater News

Theater Artist Residency The MITTEN Lab to Kick-Off at the Detroit Opera House

The event will be an opportunity for the community to connect with emerging artists and their work.

Rachel Sussman (left) and Katherine M. Carter are cofounders of The Mitten Lab.
Rachel Sussman (left) and Katherine M. Carter are cofounders of The Mitten Lab.

The MITTEN Lab, a new theater artist residency based in Detroit, will host a kick-off event at the Detroit Opera House‘s Chrysler Black Box and Sky Deck on Sunday September 13. The event will aim to introduce the program to the Michigan community and establish its relationship with Michigan-based theater organizations.

The event will include two panel discussions: "What Do We Even Mean by 'Emerging' Artist?" focused on the nebulous "emerging artist" label and "The State of Theatrical Work in the Michigan Landscape," which will explore the art form's current position within Detroit's artistic renaissance as well as in other Michigan cities. Panelists will include Kevin Dodd (Activate: Midwest Play Festival), Stefanie Abel Horowitz (Director), Matthew Dean Marsh (Composer/Lyricist), Monet Hurst-Mendoza (Playwright), Emilio Rodriguez (Michigan-based Playwright), Amy Thomas (Matrix Theatre Company), Daniel C. Walker (Theatre Nova), and Sarah Winkler and Courtney Burkett (Detroit Public Theatre). Panels will be moderated by Rachel Sussman (MITTEN Lab Co-Founder) and John W. Rutherford (ArtServe Michigan Governor’s Award for Art Educator of the Year). Additional panelists to be announced.

The day-long kick-off will include a reading of Blind Crest, by Monet Hurst-Mendoza and directed by founder Katherine M. Carter. The new play tells the story of Tryell Johnson, who sits on Death Row for the double-murder of two undercover detectives, and Mara Hernandez, a fresh-faced corrections officer, who form an intense bond and make a pact to have a baby. A subsequent reception on the Sky Deck will include a presentation of selected songs from the new musical, Rezoning, by Michigan native, Matthew Dean Marsh.

Founded by Katherine M. Carter and Rachel Sussman in 2015, The MITTEN Lab, A Michigan Incubator for Theatre Talent Emerging Now, is an artist residency located in Northern Michigan aimed at providing emerging theater artists with the time, space, and support to develop new theatrical works.

The MITTEN Lab Kick-Off Event is free and open to the public. Due to limited space, reservations are strongly encouraged.

For more information, click here.