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For two weeks in July this year, Grosse Pointe Theatre will be creating young playwrights in a summer workshop focused on beginning playwriting – especially writing fractured fairy tales.

The two-week program (mornings only) will start on Monday, July 11, and run through Friday, July 22. Students who are available will be performing their works as part of the Fairy Tale Festival to be held at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House on Saturday, July 23. The daily sessions run from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and take place at the theatre’s Rehearsal Hall at 315 Fisher Road at Maumee.

As part of the theatre’s Youth on Stage program, this workshop is intended for youngsters who have completed grades 5, 6, 7 and 8. The first week will deal with the basics of playwriting and the second week will study fairy tales and writing and performing Fractured Fairy Tales the students have written. Surrounding all of these activities will be improv exercises and theatre games to increase the student’s general knowledge of theatre and stagecraft.

“We think we have planned an exciting curriculum for the kids and that they will learn some skills that will serve them throughout life. We are particularly looking for adventurous children who have creative minds and already know how to think outside the box,” said Mary Lou Britton, executive producer for the summer workshop. “The process of “fracturing” fairy tales encourages the students to think about different perspectives and changed endings for the fairy tales we all knew growing up.”

Fees for the two-week experience are $275 for children or grandchildren of GPT members; $300 for others.

Youth on Stage, in its 11th year of successful operation, is an educational opportunity for children and teens to learn about theatre and stagecraft. It offers two semester-long programs during the school year, ending each session with a full-stage production at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial.

For more information about Youth on Stage or the Summer Workshop, call the Theatre box office at 313/881-4004 or call producer Mary Lou Britton at 586/779-8974. She can also be reached at mellbee@earthlink.net.

New Management Team at Toledo Beach Marina Looks Forward to Upgrades Focusing on Customers

The Toledo Beach Marina is excited to announce that the veteran marina management team led by Semo Post and Pam Poirier of Jefferson Beach Marina will now also be managing the Toledo Beach Marina.

“The Toledo Beach Marina has been a wonderful facility in previous years and has the potential to be one of the most exciting boating destinations in the area,” said Post, general manager. “We are thrilled to begin realizing the possibilities for this remarkable attraction.”

The marina has an unparalleled location on Lake Erie between Detroit and Toledo and near the Lake Erie Islands region, 250 acres of beautiful surrounding green space, and more than 600 docks in a protected deep-water harbor. Other amenities include drive up parking, year round 24-hour security, modern bath house, laundry, deli, Ship’s Store and 30′ x 50′ pool.

Toledo Beach Marina has an experienced yacht broker and showroom on the premises. And, with three hoists and a fully-staffed service and mechanic department, the marina can accommodate just about any boat on the lake.

Post and Poirier joined the Jefferson Beach Marina in 2008 and have steadily enhanced the facility, making it one of the premier boating locations on the St. Clair Shores Nautical Mile. They plan on bringing the same focus on the customer and attention to detail to the Toledo Beach Marina.

“We put our customers first and really listen to what they have to say,” according to Post. “Jefferson Beach has become the desired marina on the Nautical Mile because of this approach. We know we can have the same success with the Toledo Beach Marina.

“We look forward to working with the existing staff and getting their input on improvements that would enhance the marina.”

Poirier echoed Post’s enthusiasm about the Toledo Beach Marina. “I can’t wait to share the excitement of the boating lifestyle with the customers at Toledo Beach and revitalize this facility that has held the reputation as one of the premiere and largest marinas located on Lake Erie ,” she said.

Before joining Jefferson Beach Marina, Post spent 12 years as marina manager at Harbor Hill Marina, where he also implemented key improvements. The Grosse Pointe Farms resident started his marina career as harbor attendant at the Detroit Yacht Club in 1985, quickly moving up to harbor master. He has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Poirier served as harbor and park supervisor at Grosse Pointe Farms Pier Park for 12 years before joining Jefferson Beach Marina. She has been a member of the Grosse Pointe Power Squadron for 15 years and was its first female executive board member. A resident of Grosse Pointe Farms, she has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Toledo Beach Marina is a large “full-service” marine complex unique to the area to serve the needs of boaters from the downriver area, Ann Arbor, Toledo, Indiana, Ohio-Lake Erie looking for a deepwater harbor capable of handling all size boats up to 150’ with full amenities on site, including:

  • 550 deep-water boat slips,
  • both covered and open-air, upgraded electrical service power pedestals for all watercraft to provide for their power needs,
  • The large capacity equipment including Travel Lift capable of lifting boats to 70”,
  • a modern approach to “Rack n’ Launch” utilizing modern high-low/lift equipment and an upgraded heated storage buildings on site,
  • heated swimming pool,
  • “The Sandbar” Restaurant and Bar,
  • plenty of open space for recreation and family gathering,
  • all mechanical services,
  • both gas and diesel,
  • fiberglass repair,
  • interior redesign/fitting out,
  • brokerage, yacht sales, and
  • a close working relationship with the North Cape Yacht Club located across the fairway from the TBM Fuel Dock


New Program Launch for Professionals in Transition. Focus: Defense Sector

We are proud to announce that our own VP of Emergent Media, Cyndee Harrison, will be a part of a new opportunity for professionals in transition. Wayne State University, in partnership with Macomb Community College, is launching the Defense Employment Transition Program (DETP). The DETP is a comprehensive re-employment program created specifically to meet the needs of unemployed, underemployed, veterans and displaced workers – both white and blue collar. This unique program offers foundational skills for the professional in transition and is highly customized to meet each individual’s needs. The full program is 10 weeks in length, but participants have the opportunity to pick and choose which parts are relevant for their needs. The components of the DETP include:

•Individual Assessment: Comprehensive on-line tools assess your personality, professional interests and workplace skills. A gap analysis helps you evaluate your professional skills against a roster of Defense sector requirements. By the end of the assessment process, you will have a clear picture of the skills you should highlight and the skills that require further development.

•Personal Strategic Employment Plan: The Personal Strategic Employment Plan is similar to a corporate strategic plan in the sense that it drives performance with a set of specific and measurable objectives. Throughout the program you will have a chance to develop and fine tune this plan as your career goals come into focus.

•Professional Coaching: A professional coach will meet one-on-one with you over the course of four one-hour meetings to debrief the assessments and work to create specific and measurable career goals.

•Education Workshops and Clinics: Focused education workshops and hands-on clinics will help you sharpen skills in resume and cover letter writing, networking, job search maximization and interviewing preparation – setting you up for maximum success in the Defense sector job market.

•Mock Interviewing: Mock interviews are conducted to provide a low-risk environment for practicing your interviewing techniques – before you interview in a real setting.

In addition, you will receive personalized feedback from an interviewing skill expert. The program begins with a half-day Orientation session that describes each of these components in more detail and provides an opportunity for participants to ask questions. All sessions will be delivered at Wayne State University’s Macomb Education Center located at 16480 Hall Road, Clinton Township, MI 48038. To register for an Orientation, call 586-498-4000 or visit http://www.macomb.edu/defensetraining

For more program information, call 313-577-4449


Rojo Mexican Bistro will host a relief benefit “Detroit Supports Japan” on Tuesday March 29, 2011 from 6:00- 9:00 p.m. , at its Novi location.  Erin Nicole of WXYZ  & local Elite model Tommy Cupples will host the benefit in which proceeds will go to the organization Global Giving through its Japan Relief Fund.


On March 11, 2011 the North coast of Japan experienced a 9.0 megathrust earthquake, one of the largest ever recorded, shortly after a large scale tsunami ensued and created massive destruction and the loss of many lives. “In the wake of the devastation I felt compelled to do something to help the people of Japan, as coincidence would have it a friend of mine local model Tommy Cupples shared the same sentiment he wanted to do something so I jumped on the bandwagon to bring to life  “Detroit Supports Japan”.


Rojo Mexican Bistro will donate the proceeds from the event to the charitable organization Global Giving (www.globalgiving.org). Other sponsors include: Valiant Public Relations & Events, HDC Management, The Diamond Vault of Troy, EXA, & Ambassador Magazine. There will be a silent auction to raise additional funds, as well as EXA will be selling “Detroiters for Japan” t-shirts to support the Japan Relief Fund with Global Giving. More information can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DiamondVaultofTroy.


“This is a great opportunity for Metro-Detroiters to come together and party for a cause” says Tommy Cupples, event host “Japan needs the international community’s help and Detroit wants to be part of that push.”


If you have any press inquiries please contact Royda Urey, rurey@valiantpublicrelations.com or 248.773.9989.

About Global Giving

All donations go through the GlobalGiving Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 organization, which receives a nominal 15% fulfillment fee. This helps cover the cost of operating GlobalGiving – finding and vetting projects, providing training and support to project leaders, attracting donors, and maintaining an innovative, informative web presence. It also includes the fees assessed by vendors for credit card processing, wires, etc.

Most donors choose to make an incremental contribution at checkout to cover this fee and ensure that 100% of their donation goes to the project(s) that they have selected to support. This results in an average of 90% of all funds donated getting to the grassroots project(s) selected.

All-School Open House

Grosse Pointe Academy invites you to an All-School Open House on Wednesday, March 9 from 6-8 p.m. For parents interested in learning about The Grosse Pointe Academy’s Montessori Early School for ages 2 ½ to Kindergarten, there will be a Montessori Information Night on March 9 at 6 p.m. Click here for more information.

Grosse Pointe Theatre presents The Exonerated, Actual stories of those falsely accused and imprisoned

Grosse Pointe Theatre’s Purdon Studio Theatre presents The Exonerated by Erik Jensen and Jessica Blank, the compelling true stories of six people who, wrongfully convicted of murder, served harrowing sentences on death row waiting for their own execution. (Subsequently proven innocent, they were released and exonerated of the crimes.)

The Exonerated opens Friday, February 18, 8:00 p.m. at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford Activities Center, 1100 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Shores. The $35 opening night performance includes a wine and hors d’oeuvres afterglow.


The Exonerated continues on February 19, 25, and 26 at 8:00 p.m. and on Sundays, February 20 and 27 with 2:00 p.m. matinees. Tickets are $12 for these performances. Call Grosse Pointe Theatre at 313-881-4004 for tickets or go on-line at http://www.GPT.org. Seating is limited.


This play is suitable for mature audiences only. The compelling script is based upon court records, media accounts, and the actual narratives of those exonerated. The authors, Erik Jensen and Jessica Blank, a husband and wife team, have been active in causes related to the death penalty and have received the Champion of Justice Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for this play.


The entire script for The Exonerated is in the actual words of the exonerated prisoners, as well as the judges, attorneys, friends and families. Audiences should be aware that all these characters are real.  The names have not been changed.  They are currently alive and surviving their horrendous experiences as prisoners on death row.  We have seen their faces and heard their voices in the HBO movie of The Exonerated.


The Rev. Canon Ron Spann, Detroit, is the Spirituality Center Director and a priest associate at Christ Church Grosse Pointe. Rev. Spann plays Delbert Tibbs, a poet and former seminary student.  Ron has been in contact with the real Delbert Tibbs, now living in Chicago and an activist for the anti-capital punishment cause.


Sharron Nelson, Grosse Pointe, plays Sunny Jacobs who, along with her husband, was erroneously convicted of shooting two police officers. Unfortunately Sunny Jacob’s husband was executed before the proof of their innocence was revealed.


Thomas Wilson, Detroit, plays David Keaton, who was convicted as a teenager of a murder of which he was innocent. Kirkland Williams, Grosse Pointe, plays Robert Hayes, a horse trainer in Florida, falsely convicted of murder and rape. Jerry Nehr; Grosse Pointe Woods, portrays Gary Gauger, a mid-west farmer, found innocent of the murder of his parents after serving many years in prison. Alan Canning, Bloomfield Hills, plays Kerry Max Cook.  Cook was convicted of the murder of a woman he had seen only once, years before she was found murdered.  He was subsequently found to be innocent through DNA evidence. Roles of wives, attorneys, judges, police, relatives and friends are played variously by Peter DiSante of S.C.S., Don Couture of Harrison Township, Pat O’Brien, Grosse Pointe Park , and Heather Neely, Detroit .


Lois Bendler is the director and set designer and Arlene Marie Schoenherr is the producer/stage manager. Both women reside in St. Clair Shores.  Ginger Hupp, Grosse Pointe, is the show’s costume consultant.  Eric Lesczynski, Grosse Pointe Woods, is doing the lighting and Eric Vreeland, St. Clair Shores, is doing sound.


Grosse Pointe Theatre’s 63rd Season continues:


Following The Exonerated, Grosse Pointe Theatre presents Dixie Swim Club by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, March 6, 10-13, 16-19, 2011, on its main stage, Fries Auditorium at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Farms . The final show of the season will be The Scarlet Pimpernel, based on the works by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, book and lyrics by Nan Knighton, May 8, 12-15, 18-21, 2011.

Grosse Pointe Theatre’s Youth on Stage will produce a children’s version of the musical, Annie Jr. with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, book by Thomas Meehan, based on the Tribune Media Service Comic Strip, Little Orphan Annie, on April 9 & 10, 2011.  Call the theatre for details.

For more information about Grosse Pointe Theatre, please visit the website at http://www.gpt.org or phone 313-881-4004.