MSU Friends of the Theatre Celebrate New Courtyard Stage at Gala

The Friends of Theatre at Michigan State University will celebrate the opening of the new Summer Circle Courtyard with a gala event at 6 p.m. on June 9 at Fairchild Theatre and the new courtyard.

The evening’s events will include food and wine, a live auction and raffle and a private performance of the first play in the Summer Circle season, “Mr. Burns, a post-electric play.” The opening of the play the following night will mark the beginning of the 55th season of free summer theater at MSU.

Tickets for the event are $40 and available online at or by calling (517) 355-6691. Among the auction items up for bid will be a stay with breakfast at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, a sculpture by Mark Chatterley and tickets to regional theatres.

Joshua Davis, who appears in the Spring 2015 season of “The Voice” and is a theater department alumnus, has donated a “house party” performance where the lucky bidder can invite guests to their home and the singer will perform.

The Summer Circle Courtyard was completed last fall after a significant fundraising effort from MSU Friends of Theatre raising more than $100,000 toward the outdoor stage, located on the courtyard between Fairchild Theatre and Kresge Art Center.

Summer Circle Theatre provides free performances for the mid-Michigan and university community at the space during the month of June with a selection of five plays, including a musical and children’s theatre production.

“This is Friends of Theatre’s sixth gala supporting Summer Circle Theatre,” says Jacqueline Babcock, president of the organization. “Each year we pick a target area requiring financial support as the focus for our spring event. Helping to ensure free theater for those who enjoy it and want to expose their children to live theater is important to those of us who love the arts. By supporting student artists of Summer Circle, we can help the Department of Theatre continue this mission.”

Businesses and individuals interested in sponsorship levels for the Friends of Theatre “Celebrate the Stage” gala may contact Joan Mattson at

Throughout the month of June, five plays will be performed at the Summer Circle Theatre.

  • June 10-13 at 8 p.m.
    • “Mr. Burns,” a post electric play by Anne Washburn
    • Appropriate for ages 12 and up
    • “The Book of Liz” by David Sedaris and Amy Sedaris 
    • Appropriate for ages eight and up
    • “The American Plan” by Richard Greenberg
    • Appropriate for ages 13 and up
    • “Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein”
    • Mature audience only
    • “The Tail of Peter Rabbit”
    • Appropriate for all ages