News / Events

2020 Summer Update

Greetings friends of Old Town Playhouse,

I sincerely hope this finds each of you healthy, safe, and happy during these abnormal and uncertain days. We miss all our Playhouse friends and the energy of live theatre.

“Intermission” has become a suspended season. This is a difficult time of no revenue, but we are doing our best to be good stewards of our gem, the Old Town Playhouse. Costs are being closely managed, including staff reductions, as necessary. However, not every cost can be eliminated. Not only do we need financial help now to ride the storm, but we will need funds available for reopening when the skies clear. Please consider helping us through this time.

At OTP, there is a role for everyone, on stage, back stage, and most important in the audience. All of us play a vital role of support and we critically need your help now. Communities are judged by their culture. An investment in OTP is an investment in your community. The talented folks on stage and backstage are your friends and neighbors, maybe your Doctor, State Trooper, Banker, Hairdresser, Librarian, your community. These talented people give enormous amounts of time outside of their professions to bring live theatre to us. We all need to act to bring OTP through this pandemic.
Quality Community Theatre is what we do. Impacting lives is why we do it.

Can you help us now?
· If you normally attend Gala, would you match last year’s donation to help us out now?
· If you normally make year-end donations, could you make that donation now?
· If you normally would have purchased show tickets this fall, would you donate that amount now?
· If you ever considered making more of a donation to OTP, could you do that now?

With your support, our stage will come alive again in the same spectacular way you expect.
Donations can be made online at, by calling the box office 231-947-2210 or by mailing a check to OTP, PO Box 262, Traverse City, MI 49685. Thank you!

2020 and Beyond
We keep looking forward even though timing is unknown at this point. While the theatre is quiet, we are working behind the scenes to ready OTP for a bright reopening.

We received grants from the Biederman Foundation and Worthington Family Foundation for electronic marquees outside our building. They will be installed this summer. In normal operating times, we have so many things happening, it is impossible to effectively communicate on the small manual marquees. With the new marquees, we will promote all the facets of OTP – Young Company, Mainstage, Studio Theatre, Aged To Perfection and more.

Ironically, this is good time to work on the building while not interrupting shows or rehearsals. A project that we hope to accomplish this summer is central HVAC in our lower level. This area is used by our Young Company, Aged to Perfection, Box office and reception-bar area for every show. During the summer we use many window air conditioners and during the cold months every office has a space heater. Both are very inefficient. We received a seed grant from the Schmuckal Foundation, but the project will require considerable additional funds to complete. Please consider a special donation for capital improvement so this work can be accomplished.

What’s happening now? A closed building can’t keep entertainers from sharing their joy!
Through the beginning of September, we will feature Theatre Under The Tent in our parking lot. In the evenings at 7PM, when the lot is shaded, we will perform a variety of theatrical and musical shows. These will be ticketed events to ensure social distancing and masks will be required to enter. Tickets are available at More events will be added but save these dates:

28 – Frankly Sinatra with Probes and Chown
31 – Love Letters with Brett & Kristina Nichols

6 Love Letters with Terri Heffron & John Klapko
7 – Old Town Home Companion with Doc and Donna Probes
10 – Jazz North
14 – Love Letters with HT and Lauren Snowday
21-23 – YC Showstoppers
26 – Open mic night
27 – BoBossa Jazz Quartet
29 – Swingshift and the Stars

1 – TSO Brass Quintet
2 – Interlochen Faculty Chamber Music
5 – TSO Brass with piano


On Tuesday 8/18, we will present a winery cabaret at Bel Lago. Look for details on our website.
Even though we cannot rehearse or stage performances on Mainstage, there is a team working on pod casts and virtual presentations for the fall. Stay tuned for more information.

No one can predict when reopening will be possible or what it will look like. While no virus can defeat this art form, the theatre will have to change to meet the challenges of a transformed world. Certainly, procedures will need to be adapted. Our number one concern is the safety of our volunteers and patrons. We commit to keeping you fully informed as we proceed.

On behalf of everyone at OTP, thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you again at the Playhouse. I leave you with the words of Peter Pan, “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” So long for now and remember, Arts and Community will get us through to the other side of this social interruption.
Stay well.
Thank you for your support!

Deb Jackson, Executive Director

Old Town Playhouse • PO Box 262, Traverse City, MI 49684 • 231.947.2210 •











Old Town Playhouse

Main Stage Theatre
148 E. Eighth Street
at the corner of
Cass & East 8th St.

OTP Studio Theatre
620 Railroad Place
at the corner of
East 8th and Woodmere