Latest from The Curtainless Theatre

Panel Member Spotlight: Karrington Kelsey, Black Lives Matter Lansing

Karrington has been a resident of the Lansing area for 6 years and has become very active in the community that he now calls home. Through Black Lives Matter Lansing, Lansing Residents United, and his church home Lansing Area Church Of Christ he has maintained his commitment to being a positive force no matter where he is. As a Detroit native, the arts and community organizing have been a major part of his life that he will never turn away form. Sociology and anthropology are the passions that give him the strength to advocate for his community and other marginalized communities. As Langston Hughes said, " Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die life is like a broken-winged bird that can not fly. Hold fast to dreams for when dreams go life is a barren field frozen with snow."

Black Lives Matter Lansing is a small chapter—but what we lack in size, we make up for in influence. Over the past two years, we have successfully centered the issues of Black folks in Metro Lansing in t…

Elizabethan Undercurrents: Shakespeare and Sidney

by Kris Vitols

Literary influence can be a sticky wicket. Ideally, we would prefer it to be straight-forward and easy in its measure, traceable through testament and witness, preferably with a slew of documentation. Literary history abounds with writers demonstrating their indebtedness to their forebears: Dante Alighieri thought enough of the Roman poet Virgil to cast him as his guide through Hell and the outskirts of Purgatory, referring to him simply as “The Poet”; John Milton, in his justification of verse form at the beginning of “Paradise Lost,” brazenly dismissed centuries of rhymed meter-schemes, choosing to write in dactylic hexameter, the unrhymed verse form of Homer, feeling that his poem’s subject warranted such a move; when James Joyce’s phantasmagoria, “Ulysses,” was published in 1922, he supposedly quipped, “I’ve just written a book that will keep the critics busy for 300 years.” In just this way, writers over the centuries have cited their influences and precursors, ei…

Panel Member Spotlight: Phiwa Langeni, Salus Center

The Rev. Phiwa Langeni is a trans-masculine genderqueer person who’s passionate about helping people understand that different doesn’t have to be dangerous. Phiwa is an ordained United Church of Christ minister and is the Founder/Director of Salus Center, Lansing’s only LGBTQ Resource and Community Center. 

Salus is the Latin word meaning wholeness and well-being. That it’s a word not commonly used lends itself to the beauty of co-creating the evolving meanings of salus within the LGBTQ communities of the Greater Lansing Area. Keeping LGBTQIA2S+ folk at the core, Salus Center strives to cultivate radical communities of care. We aim to empower people to authentically live into their whole selves, no matter what intersecting identities they embody.

To learn more about Salus Center, visit them on their website or on Facebook. To donate to this wonderful organization, click here!

Panel Member Spotlight: Leah Dryer, EVE (End Violent Encounters)

Leah Dryer has been with EVE (End Violent Encounters) for just over 2 years now and serves as the Director of Community Outreach. She is a long-time advocate for social justice and human rights issues with a dedicated passion for assisting survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She has an educational background in Communications and Women and Gender Studies which fuels her devotion to survivors and organizations such as EVE. She also serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for EVE so if anyone would like more information on volunteering, please contact her or come visit with her after the program!

EVE (End Violent Encounters) began in 1977 and was formerly known as CADA (Council Against Domestic Assault). It eventually grew to become Lansing's first domestic violence shelter. Over the years, EVE has grow to provide supportive services such as advocacy, counseling, crisis intervention, children's programs and community education to survivors of many forms of violence…

Panel Member Spotlight: Melina Brann, The Women's Center of Greater Lansing

Melina Brann is the Executive Director at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, a non-profit committed to helping women in our community become economically independent. Before devoting her work full-time to the Women’s Center, Melina served as a therapist in Hospice after earning her Master’s degree in Social Work from Grand Valley State University. In addition to being a director, Melina is passionate about advocating for those who need it most. She has spent time in Washington DC and here in Lansing fighting for the rights of caregivers, women, and those with disabilities. Melina is also a cat-lover and artist from Lansing’s Eastside.

The Women’s Center of Greater Lansing is committed to assisting women in overcoming the barriers they face in achieving economic self-sufficiency by providing a safe, supportive and affirming environment to our clients.  In short, the Women’s Center helps women achieve financial stability and independence through personalized services, including resu…

Looking Back and Forward: The Play's the Thing

By: Iris Raine Paul

In May we performed under our new name for the first time! Bringing The Curtainless Theatre to the East Lansing Art Festival was a blast: we met a lot of kind, interesting people, and working with the folks organizing the festival was a pleasure. We were honored to be a part of a weekend that highlighted so many talented people involved in the arts community!

Designing the show, I considered how performing in a densely populated, public space gave us a great chance to reach a large audience who may not necessarily have much experience with Shakespeare or classical theatre. It was the perfect opportunity to tackle the question I hear so often: why Shakespeare? The concept for our performance focused around diversity in Shakespeare’s plays and why his texts are still relevant today. I wanted to ensure, given the many attention-grabbing attractions at the festival, that the show would be able to catch people’s eye, so I set the play at the imagined wedding of Othell…