|David Kiley of New Roads Media|
With a clean notebook, anything is possible.
I thought of that last night as I visited my friend Kym Reinstadler at her new place in Ann Arbor. Kym and I had been coworkers at The Press for 20 years. But a few months after my retirement in 2009, she was caught in the cutbacks and has been looking for steady work ever since. With a new Masters in Library Science, she landed a position with ProQuest, an international company that aggregates information and databases. Gee, it's even a new language.
We spent the evening at the Wilde Awards in West Bloomfield. The annual event, sponsored by Encore Michigan, celebrates professional theatre across the state.. I've been reviewing shows for Encore Michigan ever since I retired from The Press but this was my first time to travel across the state for the annual shindig. It's a big year for Encore Michigan. Just when it looked like it might fade away, a new owner, David Kiley, came along full of enthusiasm for assuming the arts coverage that has been dropped by mainstream media. He even has plans to partner with Detroit Public Television to get theater before the masses.
One of the big winners of the evening was Kurt Stamm, artistic director for Mason Street Warehouse in Saugatuck. Kurt received the Founder's Award for theater dealing with LGBT issues. I remember when Kurt and his business partner Tom Mullen called me at The Press back in 2002 and said they were going to build a professional theater in a former pie factory. I visited the site and the task seemed insurmountable. It was a big refrigerator! But it had a good location right on the bay next to downtown. And they had a vision of putting on really good theater. Now, I can't imagine Saugatuck without Mason Street Theatre, it's that much a part of the fabric of the town.
Life is all about starting over, reinventing yourself, the new semester.