In the 1980s, when Jeff Daniels and his wife, Katherine Treado, decided to raise a family in their shared hometown of Chelsea, MI, Daniels had a riddle to solve: how could he have both the low-key home life he wanted, and a local creative ecosystem in which to work?
Daniels’ and Treado’s solution to the riddle involved founding the Purple Rose Theatre, now celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Back in 1989, the building located at 137 Park Street in Chelsea was a dilapidated former used car and bus garage that had once been owned by Daniels’ grandfather; Daniels purchased it for $150,000, and after he and his “founding four” team (including Bart Bauer, Doug Beaumont, and Newell Kring) oversaw extensive renovations, the Purple Rose opened its doors to present Lisa Wing’s world premiere play, Blush at Nothing, in February 1991.
Much has changed since then, of course—most notably, a $2.2 million capital campaign to fund the original building’s demolition in 1999, as well as the subsequent construction of the Rose’s current building, which opened in 2001 (they staged shows at Detroit’s Gem Theatre during this period)—but some local artists and patrons started coming to the Rose early on and never left. READ THE REST HERE