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Photo by Mark Cresswell. Author Cynthia Furlong Reynolds speaks to the Chelsea Area Historical Society.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Jan Bernath for the information in this story and Mark Cresswell for the photos.)

An intimate history of The Purple Rose Theatre was vividly described by author Cynthia Furlong Reynolds and longtime employee Danna Segrest, who plays multiple roles as resident properties designer, box office assistant and archival photographer.

About 35 members attended the first 2017 membership meeting of the Chelsea Area Historic Society (CAHS) on Jan. 9 where the two women told many stories about Chelsea’s iconic theatre.

Reynolds interviewed more than 60 people associated with the Purple Rose, including the founder, Jeff Daniels, in writing her book , “The Purple Rose of Chelsea,” which celebrates the 25 years of success in the community and region. Segrest told many stories about the many people—founder, directors, actors, employees, apprentices, and volunteers—who play vital roles in producing the four plays annually.

More than 40,000 people a year come to Chelsea to see plays and, in addition to buying tickets, they spend an average of $60-$70 in the community per visit.

The proceeds of the books sold at the CAHS Museum at 128 Jackson St. go to support the museum.

Museum hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. Admission is free although donations are welcomed.

Photo by Mark Cresswell. Danna Segrest speaks to the Chelsea Area Historical Society.

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