Wild Swan Theater closes after 40 years of theater-making for kids

THEATER & DANCE

Wild Swan Theater closing collage

Pulp received some sad news from Ann Arbor's long-running Wild Swan Theater:

Curtain Call for Wild Swan Theater

Dear Friends,

It is time to bring down the curtain on Wild Swan Theater. After more than four decades of joyful, exuberant, sometimes zany, sometimes poignant, always heartfelt theater making, it is time to say our goodbyes. 

We started Wild Swan in 1980 with nothing but an idea. We didn’t have a nickel. No space. No backers. Just an idea, an idea of a kind of theater that could possibly exist, accessible and affordable for everyone, and of the highest artistic quality. Other artists were drawn to our idea and over the years we built an astonishing collaboration of gifted artists who wanted to “play,” who wanted to join with us to make imaginative, moving theater for children, for families, for students. And, we were joined by supporters and funders who shared our deep belief in the importance of creative experiences for young people. For forty years, we made theater based on that same idea, our reach expanding as we tackled one absorbing and challenging project after another – in the end for over a million audience members, upwards of a hundred thousand workshop participants.

But what we created was a particular kind of theater making that came out of our sensibilities as theater artists, out of the creative hearts of Sandy Ryder and Hilary Cohen and our friends. When we started people asked, how long will you do this for? We answered, we can’t do this forever. We will stop when it is time. Well friends, now it is time. Time to stop producing new works. Time to stop performing. Eventually we hope to create an archive of resources; maybe DVDs of some of our productions for classroom use, perhaps workshop materials for participants with disabilities. It’s still too early to know exactly what that will look like.

But, for now, we are taking our leave. We can’t thank you enough for coming along with us on this journey. We are more grateful than we can say for the joy we have had and for the pleasure of your company.
With love and appreciation,

Hilary Cohen and Sandy Ryder
Co-Founders and Co-Artistic Directors