Crooked Tree Play Festival: Made in Michigan, Performed in Milan, Pure Magic


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For those of you who felt our fabulous show with Joe Z a few weeks back was just a cruel tease, today we bring you MORE of this talented writer/director/producer/teacher. Joe is back with his open wit, soaring tenor vocals, and generous ability to make Michigan feel –for real–like a cultural mecca.

Joe turned up in CBN’s studios today with one heck of a sidekick. Roustabout Theatre Troupe’s Managing Director Anna Simmons is a force for good. Together they talked us through the amazing range of plays to be featured in the second annual Crooked Tree Play Festival featuring FREE productions in the courtyards, cafes, bars, churches and towns square of Milan, Michigan. These new scripts by Michigan writers have never before been seen, and have been lovingly produced and directed by the band of talents at Roustabout. Many Milan-based organizations have come together to make this festival happen on a larger scale than last year’s successful debut.

Like the now legendary Big Ears Festival featuring only new music of many genres and hosted in Knoxville Tennessee, Crooked Tree Play Festival harnesses the impact of “new.” In their shiny new state these plays capture our various experiences of the present in this country, and convey an energy we need as a country caught in the cruel grip of our own history, working together to build a more sustainable future. Music and culture connect to invigorate outdoor spaces, urban infrastructure, and local economies. Indeed, our on-air shout out to Ashley Capps does not do justice to his journey from his early days as a radio announcer at WUOT FM in Knoxville to his creation and curation of powerful events from Big Ears to Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.

What does such dynamism look like here in the “rust belt?” If you want to help answer that question, then invite friends or help get the word out by sharing Roustabout’s Crooked Tree Play Festival facebook event info link. Check out the Milan event next weekend. And stay tuned into our hot, hardworking community here at WCBN.

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