Ann Arbor community theater group makes full return after two-year hiatus

The Thurston Community Players. (Thurston Community Players)

ANN ARBOR – The Thurston Community Players will present its first spring production since it paused operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The beloved tradition began in 1974 when parents proposed the Thurston Elementary PTO sponsor a play starring Thurston teachers and parents. What began as an effort to raise money for the school and connect families and staff outside of regular school activities blossomed into a communitywide theater production starring neighbors who don’t have children at Thurston.

Boasting more than 100 actors each year, participants range from ages 5-75, making it a true multigenerational effort.

“After the March 2020 production was cancelled days before opening night by the pandemic, the show has been in hiatus for two years, and it looked like it might not continue,” Thurston parent Libby Benton said in a statement. “But this year, a scrappy group of former players, many of whom now have kids in college and beyond, and new families have come together to keep this incredible neighborhood tradition alive.”

This year’s production, “Time, Turtles, and Twists,” portrays the Thurston community as it deals with unprecedented changes. In the original music production, Luigi, the neighborhood cat, recounts past challenges at the school during flashbacks. Students, staff and parents race against time to resolve their differences and learn from the past to avert disaster.

Show times are Saturday, May 6 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 7 at 2 p.m. at Huron High School Auditorium.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for K-12 students. Children under the age of five are free. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door (cash only).

Huron High School is located at 2727 Fuller Road.

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