Purdon Studio Theatre is dedicated to presenting non-traditional theater in an intimate setting. The term “non-traditional” may refer to the choice of a contemporary, edgy, or more controversial play or, it may be a new and unconventional way of presenting a classic piece. Because of the close proximity of the 50 member audience to the stage the audience becomes intimately involved with scenes and the characters.

Who Is Purdon?

The following is an article written by Kathy Conlon that appeared in a summer 2009 Sock & Buskin newsletter.

“On February 19 our dream of a black-box space will finally be realized when we open the play Art at the Purdon Studio Theatre in the Activities Center at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House.

This new venture was made possible by the generous bequest of two wonderful people, Jac and Carol Purdon, artistically gifted soulmates who passed away much too soon.

GPT was blessed to have Carol grace our stage in one memorable performance after another. She was the best of the best, as skillful in eliciting the audience’s sympathetic tears as in evoking belly laughs. She took her roles very seriously, emotionally and intellectually investing everything she had. Every character she inhabited was as true and nuanced and fully realized as the people you encounter daily.

Carol adored her family, her friends, and GPT and there was nothing she would not do for those she loved. Her loyalty has extended beyond her life to benefit her beloved GPT through this new venue.

Jac, the quixotic, behemian artist was genuinely interested in what made people tick. He would engage perfect strangers in long conversations and they would open up to him as if they had known him all their lives. His world was small, extending not much farther than a mile radius from his home, but his influence was far-reaching. He created amazing and sometimes startling pieces of sculpture which often evoked visceral reactions from viewers, yet his quirky humor was always in evidence.

The beautiful, spare, conceptual sets Jac designed for GPT were another form of his art. He drew on his prodigious talent to create scenic jewels. He loved GPT mainly, I believe, because Carol loved GPT and he so dearly loved Carol.

The Purdon’s legacy is not only monetary, their artistic largesse is a part of the soul of today’s Grosse Pointe Theatre. It is an honor to dedicate this new theatre to their memory. The Purdon Studio Theatre … long may it live.”

PST Director Guidelines

Aspiring PST Directors must submit one copy of each of the following to the PST Chair to be considered for the February, 2015 production:

a. One script of the proposed show
b. A concise letter conveying the concept of the show;
c. A resume;
d. A tentative budget, broadly outlining anticipated expenses.
(Applications missing any of the above items will not be considered.)

Please submit your application to:

Kathy Conlon, PST Chair
Grosse Pointe Theatre
315 Fisher Rd.
Grosse Pointe, MI 48230

The Director should observe the following guidelines:

a. Tech should be kept to a bare minimum;
b. The show budget will be limited to $1,000, excluding royalties, room rental,
tickets and program;
c. The stage will consist of platforms that may be arranged into no larger than
16 feet x 20 feet, to be configured to suit the show;
d. Seating will be limited to approximately 50 people;
e. The Director will be responsible for creating and handling the budget or for appointing
someone to do so;
f. Upon selection the Director must join GPT if not already a member.
Please note PST Director is a volunteer, not a paid, position.
g. Casting is done through an open audition. Actors are not paid. If cast, actors
must join GPT.

Prospective directors will be asked to discuss the following items with the PST Committee:

a. Why did you choose this show to direct?
b. What is non-traditional about this show or your concept of its production?
c. What is your concept of the mood and era of the show?
How will you convey your concept, i.e. through characterization, movement, etc.
with minimal production?
d. With an eye to consolidating technical responsibilities, what are your staffing
needs?