Circle Theatre

    Business Stats

  • Founded in 1953 by Ted and Norma Brink, along with Sydney Spade.
  • The name Circle was selected because the theatre performed in the round.
  • Originally the theatre opened in downtown Grand Rapids, then moved to John Ball Park, and now performs in Easttown.
  • Operates as non-profit, run by a Board of Directors and Managing Director Lynne Brown-Tepper.
  • Annually produces 3 musicals, 2 plays, one family show, and a popular summer concert series running May through September.
  • Utilizes only local West Michigan talent, employing over 100 West Michigan artists and 300 volunteers on stage and behind the scenes each year.
  • Affiliated with Local First, Better Business Bureau, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and Eastown Association.

Circle Theatre

The mission of Circle Theatre is to enrich, entertain and educate the Grand Rapids community through exceptional theatrical arts in an intimate setting—and that’s just what this non-profit organization has done since its origin in 1953. Adding to its appeal, it’s the only community theatre in West Michigan that specializes in summer theatre.

The 2014 season, running May through September, features the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, farce-comedy Don’t Dress for Dinner, comedy One Man Two Guvnors, musical comedy Monty Python’s Spamalot, and thriller Carrie the Musical. For children, Magic Circle presents A Sleeping Beauty Somewhere in Time while their Summer Concert Series highlights the music of Billy Joel, Elton John, the Eagles, Harry Chapin, and Simon & Garfunkel.

Another unique aspect of Circle Theatre is the thrust stage which allows audiences to view performances from three sides. As a special treat this coming season, Circle Theatre will perform “in the round” (encircling the stage on all four sides) for two of its main stage productions as well as the season kickoff concert, “The Music of Stephen Schwartz” featuring music from Wicked, Godspell, and more.

Managing Director, Lynne Brown-Tepper, is confident that local residents who attend Circle performances will “have their socks knocked off by the impressive live theatre performances of their family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.”

As a community theatre organization with a focus on entertainment and education, giving back to the community schools is an integral part of Circle. Circle annually provides six paid internships to college students, two college scholarships, three college savings bonds to children ages 8-14 (through an annual Community Leadership Contest) and six summer arts scholarships to children pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

In secondary partnerships with area schools, Circle Theatre has gone to great lengths to bring theatre arts into teaching curriculum through “Circle Presents”. This series reaches more than 12,000 students, educators and families in the West Michigan area and provides at least 2,500 free tickets through Circle Theatre’s “A Seat For Every Child” annual campaign to underserved schools that are unable to attend performances due to lack of funding.

Each year, the Grand Rapids’ community and collegiate theatres, hold the Grand Awards ceremony to recognize local theatrical productions and artists. Profits from the award ceremony are given in the form of scholarships to students pursuing theatre in college. Circle Theatre is honored and celebrated every year with Grand Awards. In 2013 alone, Circle Theatre received 30 nominations and seven Grand Awards including “Outstanding Production” for their family show, The Mystic Tale of Aladdin.

Discover more about Circle Theatre on their website or connect with them on their Facebook page:

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