What Drama! How The Ringwald Theatre Has Become a Metro Detroit Favorite
By: Scott Davis
January 28, 2019
The Ringwald Theatre, a professional theatre company in Ferndale, just finished a three-plus week run of “Significant Other.” The contemporary comedy takes on the stereotypes of a “gay best friend” and the lives of late-twenty-somethings as they navigate their love life.
In just a few weeks, the theatre will start shows for “Death of a Salesman,” one of the most popular plays of all-time.
This kind of juxtaposition between two plays might seem jarring, but these are the kinds of shows theatre-goers have been expecting from the Ringwald Theatre since it opened its doors in May 2007. Everything from gay romance stories, to popular Broadway musicals, and Pulitzer Prize winning productions, the theatre tackles it all.
The Ringwald Theatre prides itself on producing work that is both entertaining and eclectic that isn’t afraid to speak about important issues. It creates an exciting atmosphere as Metro Detroiters can always expect something new and fulfilling each time they visit.
Artistic Director Joe Bailey is in charge of choosing what plays or productions the theatre does next, and while he reads countless scripts throughout the year, he said it comes down to keeping the theatre feel fresh and unique.
“I try to find shows that interest me and stay away from things that have been done a bunch of times,” Bailey said. “It’s important for the audience to live in someone else’s shoes for a little bit and showcase different sides of life.”
Bailey grew up in Metro Detroit, and moved to Los Angeles and later New York with hopes of getting into those large theatre scenes. When he moved back to Detroit, he realized his dream was to start a professional theatre and he brought that dream to life in 2007. For 12 years now, the theatre has become a gem in the middle of Ferndale and a place for local theatre fans see professional productions of both classic and new material.
“We’ve been doing this for a while and we are so lucky to keep finding fun and interesting stories to tell,” Bailey said.
Starting on Friday, February 15, the theatre is showcasing its take on the Tony Award-winning play “Death of a Salesman.” Other upcoming shows include “The House” and the popular musical “Head Over Heels,” with even more exciting shows to come in 2019.