Former Broadway actor takes on the role of art director for Mamma Mia!

By Andy Nixon, STN reporter

Former Broadway actor Dan Cooney takes the helm as art director for the production of Mamma Mia! at Dexter. The curtain rises this Thursday, June 17th, and runs through July 17th for a total of 25 performances.

On a recent tour of The Encore, I had a chance to sit down with Dan and talk about the differences in being an actor on Mamma Mia! vs. taking the reins as art director at the local theater level. He mentions, “It was spectacular to watch Monica create this production with her own perspective and vision,” adding, “She is extremely talented and did a phenomenal job of putting her own stamp on this show, which reflects the… space that we have here at The Encore. ”

Dan continued, “When you perform at Broadway House, you have 1,500 seats in the theater, but with our local production, Monica was able to tailor our performance to a more intimate venue, which in itself was a huge undertaking.” He adds, “That Encore seats a few hundred, so the audience can be much more involved in the story compared to a larger venue.”

This upcoming production of Mamma Mia! is being directed by another Broadway actor, Monica Kapoor, who spent time with Dan in the same performance company in 2012. This is the second year for The Encore Musical Theater Company at their new location on Ann Arbor Street in Dexter. Dan notes, “We look forward to seeing this production unfold at our venue and bring this performance to a local venue.”

For The Encore Theatre, this production was a monumental undertaking, with 24 professional actors and a larger orchestra curating the music behind the production. Theater continues to bring professional directors and actors from well-known places like New York City to perform here in Dexter. This will be the biggest show to date in its current space. During Covid the theater ran a few smaller productions with five to ten actors, including some outside productions.

Don’t miss this blockbuster summer production sponsored by Joann Socha. Performances are held at the MAAS Performance Space and take place Thursday through Sunday, with two shows on Saturday. Music and lyrics by Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus along with songs by Stig Anderson.

For questions, more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.theencoretheatre.org or call (734) 268-6200.

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