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Calumet Theatre reviews 2022 season

CALUMET — Calumet Theatre Co. Board President Dan Jamison at the Annual Members Meeting on Monday, gave members a Power Point presentation on the progress of the theater Since 2021. The presentation provided a chronology of events over the past year that, he said, demonstrates that the Calumet Theatre “is back.”

Jamison said it was the same presentation he gave to the Calumet Downtown Development Authority’s Calumet Forward event the previous Thursday.

“We had an interesting discussion about quite a few things,” he said, “most of which was how was our year.”

Jamison said that at this time last year, there was a lot of negative energy swirling around, which he suspects was as large a component of the late stages of the pandemic, everyone had been sitting quietly waiting for something to happen, and “it wasn’t happening quite quickly enough for all of us to be satisfied, myself included.”

Jamison’s visual presentation consisted of headlines and articles published in the Daily Mining Gazette and from TV6 News in Marquette. Some of the headlines he said were not accurate, including on that read “Theatre Board Chairman ousted, replaced.”

“I can assure you there was no ousting,” he said, “they were simply voted off (officer) positions on the board.”

While they remained on the board, he said, they just no longer had executive positions.

Next, he said, Joe Nichols canceled his scheduled concert appearance. That occurred at the time rumors started running fairly rampant about leaking, failures of the facilities at the theater.

“Somebody told TV6, somebody told our insurance carrier, and eventually got our insurance canceled,” said Jamison, “despite the fact that the roofs here are only about five years old.”

Jamison said that while that was bad, the Theatre Board persevered, and once again, positive headlines began appearing, as early as Oct. 2021, stating that the Board and Calumet Village Council were working together, attending each other’s meetings and “we’re back where we need to be in terms of a working relationship, now all we need is a show.”

That was when Nashville songwriter Gary Hannan stated an interest in putting on a show including two friends, because they had never seen a dog sled race.

Moving forward, he said, in the past couple of months, the Theatre Board managed to raise $37,000 in grants and donations to help the village replace the theater boiler that failed a year and a half ago.

Next up, he said, all of a sudden, the theater found itself showing drama club presentations from the high school and middle school, and from groups as far away as Hancock, putting shows on at the Theatre.

Jamison said there is film of a couple of the events, as a result of a gentleman who began filming all of the activities at the theater.

Of great interest, said Jamison, is the fact that the Calumet Players are coming back in Oct. with Freaky Friday.

The next positive, said Jamison, was Jay Maki accepting the position of executive director in May, 2022, at which time he began booking shows for the rest of the year.

“So, he gets the Tamburitzans in here,” he said, “sets up the Nashville Songwriter Series. Pretty soon he’s got Movie Magic back; we’ve got a theater full of kids who aren’t fidgeting and half a dozen of their parents who can’t sit still.”

The Calumet Theatre is back, Jamison said. Maki has filled up the rest of the season through December and the social (Gala fundraiser) conducted last week was a great success, drawing approximately 70 people and donations totaling $5,000.

With that, Jamison encouraged the members to renew their memberships again, pointing to the progress the theater has shown in the past year.

“So, come out for the rest of it,” he said, “…come on back. We’ve got everything up and running and we’re going to have some fun.”

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