Farmington Barn Theater Offers Array of Plays, Concerts

By: Kurt Buesching | October 6, 2011

What does an old dairy barn in Farmington Hills Have to do with theater and music? More than you would think. 

The Farmington Barn Theater, located at 32332 Farmington Road, hosts a variety of plays put on by the renowned Farmington Players and top-notch concerts organized by the Farmington Hills Cultural Arts department.

Motown-lovers recently took in The Motown Beat by Serieux at the theater, and now the barn is hosting the classic play “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The play runs through Oct. 22.

Written by Harper Lee in 1960 and set in the 1930s in Alabama, “To Kill a Mockingbird” details lawyer Atticus Finch’s representation of a black man wrongly accused of raping a woman. The story is told through the eyes of Atticus’s daughter Scout, her brother Jem and their friend Dill. It’s one of the best-known American plays about racial injustice, courage and morality. 

“It’s really a play about these three kids and how they view those injustices and how it affected them throughout their lives,” said Director Michael Schacherbauer. “It’s really a beautiful story. I find myself getting moved every time I watch certain parts.”

The three young people are played by 11-year-old Patrick Vietor of Farmington Hills, who plays Jem; 12-year old Nicholas Zupancic of Bloomfield Township, who plays Dill; and 13-year old Nina White of Grosse Pointe Park playing Scout, who’s also been Farmington Players productions of “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Gypsy.”

Other actors in the 26-person cast include Ferndale resident Greg Bowman of WWJ-950 news radio as Atticus; Kandi Krumins of Farmington Hills, who plays the adult Scout narrating the story; and a host of extras playing townspeople and other background roles.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” kicks of the Farmington Players season, which also includes “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 2 through 18, “Whose Wives are They Anyway” Feb. 17 through March 3 and “Little Shop of Horrors” April 27 through May 19. Tickets for these and for “To Kill a Mockingbird” are $16 and are available at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling (248) 553-2955.

Music

The Farmington Hills Cultural Arts department is also hosting its annual Cultural Concert Series at the Barn Theater. Kicked off by Serieux giving a tribute to Motown with tunes from The Temptations, The Four Tops and others, the series includes four upcoming performances that are sure to please.

“Three Men and a Tenor” runs Oct. 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. and features PBS vocalists singing favorite oldies plus original songs, all in a sing-along, laugh-along style that will capture the audience’s hearts.

On Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m., the Barn will host “Holiday Brass” with Detroit Chamber Winds, featuring members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Michigan Opera Theatre playing holiday favorites. Vocalists from the Tyndale Artists’ Ensemble will also be part of the show.

“Broadway and Beyond with the MOT” on Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. is a Michigan Opera Theatre performance that will incorporate classic Broadway and movie songs performed by professional MOT soloists in a fun, relaxed way.

Blackthorn, a popular area Irish band, plays March 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. The band plays a range of Irish music touched with a unique brand of humor, easy-on-the-ears harmony and sing-along fun.    

Cultural Concert Series tickets are $19, or $17 for senior citizens, and are available by calling (248) 473-1848. Tickets may also be available at the door on performance nights.

Visit www.farmingtonplayers.org for information about upcoming plays. Visit www.fhgov.com for more information about upcoming Farmington Hills Cultural Arts concerts and other Cultural Arts programs.