(Chelsea Update would like to thank Katie Doral for the information in this story.)
The Purple Rose Theatre Company’s 25th Anniversary Documentary film, Purple Rose 25 Years, will air on Detroit Public TV on Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Jeff Daniels, actor, playwright and musician, founded the nonprofit Purple Rose Theatre Company (PRTC) in his hometown of Chelsea, in 1991 to champion new American plays and playwrights and to celebrate American classics.
In its 25 years, the PRTC has produced 97 plays including 54 world premieres, 16 written by Daniels.
Purple Rose 25 Years chronicles Daniels’ journey as an actor beginning his sophomore year in high school when he was cast as a sailor in South Pacific – his music teacher DiAnn L’Roy persuaded him to audition.
“I knew then what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” said Daniels, “and I credit DiAnn L’Roy, who introduced me to the community theater in my hometown.”
But perhaps more importantly the film documents Daniels’ commitment to providing encouragement, training and exposure for other artists from apprentice to professional.
He modeled the PRTC’s apprentice program after that of the Circle Repertory Company in NYC where he apprenticed in 1976 and worked with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lanford Wilson.
Purple Rose 25 Years explores the PRTC’s artistic process through its productions, educational activities and interviews with creative leaders including Daniels, PRTC Artistic Director Guy Sanville and Rocco Landesman, former director of the National Endowment for the Arts.