ONTONAGON, Mich. (WJMN) – Making the preforming arts come alive, the Ontonagon Theater of Preforming Arts is a gem in this small town.
“Welcome to the Ontonagon Theater of Preforming Arts,” Dave Bishop with the Ontonagon Theater of Preforming Arts said. “We’re in the second and third floor, but primarily the second floor of the Ontonagon Township building. This was built as a memorial to the World War One veteran’s originally. It was built in 1923 through 1925 and the township offices are downstairs as well as the township library. This room was always a community room and it would have looked like a typical high school gymnasium with the maple flooring and a basketball hoop at each end.”
The community room was the venue for sock hops, graduations, weddings and more until the 1980’s when the space became offices and then later sat dormant until the late 1990’s.
“Carol Reed had this idea that Ontonagon needed a preforming arts space and she asked the township about this space and they said well do whatever you want,” Bishop said. “So she gathered a bunch of people who were interested and they raised some money and found a contractor who was willing to donate time and built this theater.”
With no other space in town to bring entertainment like movies of the preforming arts to people in the area, the groups goal is to bring world class art to their small town stage while promoting other local and regional artists.
“We primarily do live music and we did a play the spring,” Bishop said. “That went over quiet well. It was a locally written play called ‘Alice in Yooperland’ and it was based on the theme of Alice in Wonderland but it all took place here in the U.P. and around Ontonagon and it went over quite well.”
For a full schedule of the upcoming performances, click here.