Mission Statement

The Detroit Actor’s Theatre Company is an organization that serves both its participants and its community. The DATC strives to provoke thought by producing works that deal with social justice or moral issues. We are committed to bringing works of theatre to our community that will create a conversation and help to “break the mold”.

The organization hopes to help actors and actresses build a network of fellow performers in both the amateur and professional worlds. We are a diverse group of actors, actresses, musicians, dancers, and instrumentalists who deeply value our artistic works. We honor the creativity, expression, and individuality of each artist and audience member.

Our History

The Detroit Actor’s Theatre Company (DATC) is a semi-professional theatre company co- founded in 2011 by Eric Swanson and Michael Johns.  Their vision - to provide a safe place for artists to create on and off stage and to produce thought- provoking musicals and theatre works addressing social justice issues such as LGBTQ rights, women's rights, socioeconomic issues, racial debates, and moral dilemmas. The company is dedicated to racial and gender inclusive casting, and believes that all productions should be collaborative efforts where actors take ownership of their work, and therefore the Company. 

In the years since our founding, we have grown from giving small performances in lounges and church social halls to staging 12 productions per year in larger Detroit venues such as New Center Park and Campus Martius in the heart of the city in addition to smaller venues. In the 2016-17 season, we began our Second Stage project, which fosters the growth of company members by allowing them to try their hand at directing or producing their own plays.  We have performed in varied Detroit neighborhoods like New Center, Midtown, The Historic East Jefferson Corridor, Downtown (Riverfront), Ferndale, and Royal Oak.  Works we have performed include La Cage Aux Folles, Vagina Monologues, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Into the Woods, and American Idiot.Our 2018 performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights attracted 2400 attendees at New Center Park. Our performances by both stages now reach 3500 audience members/year throughout Detroit and the surrounding suburbs. 

In our previous season, we created our Create 4 Action program, which consisted of four shows directly addressing social justice issues.  Each show partnered with a Detroit-based nonprofit advocating for and working in the field directly related to the production's theme. We collected donations on their behalf during each show's full run. Our goal is to connect more with our Detroit community and shine a spotlight on the good works of those around us! 

ERIC SWANSON

Co-Founder | Executive Director eswanson@thedatc.org

 

Eric Swanson is Co-founder and Artistic Director of The Detroit Actor's Theatre Company where he has served since 2011. Eric received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Adrian College in 2007, after a term at Oxford (England) studying Shakespeare and Evensong. He taught choir at the prestigious Roeper School from 2007-2012. His many professional performing credits include Power of One (Role of Man, National Tour), Simply Gershwin (Greenfield Village Company, Frank Holiday), Hairspray (Edna Turnblad), La Cage Aux Folles (Albin), and The Producers (Roger Elizabeth DeBris). He is one half of the Dynamic Duo which tours nationally. 

MICHAEL JOHNS

Co-Founder | Marketing Director mjohns@thedatc.org

Michael Johns is the Co-Founder and Marketing Director for the Detroit Actor's Theatre Company. He holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in Graphic Design and a minor in Art History from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. He worked for Trent Creative (Trent Design) for most of his professional career in roles culminating with Senior Art Director. Michael now holds the position of Creative Strategist for Quicken Loans. Michael never considered himself a "theatre person" until he met Eric Swanson in 2011, at which time he was officially inducted into the "Theatre Club" and has been an addict ever since. He has been seen on stage most famously, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadow Cast (Dr. Frank-n-Furter).

MINDY GRISSOM

Artistic Director | mindy1754@gmail.com

 

Mindy has been involved with the company since it's inception as both a Director and Choreographer. She began her professional performing career with The Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, and later served as Adjunct Professor at Oakland University's Music, Theatre, and Dance Department. Mindy has worked extensively with The Rochester Community Schools' Summer Music Theatre Program and High School Theatre Departments as Assistant Director and Choreographer. She has also worked as Choreographer for community theaters such as The Avon Players and The Birmingham Village Players. She holds a BFA in Dance from Ohio State University.

Seycon-Nadia Chea 

Resident Choreographer | sn.chea@yahoo.com

 

S. Nadia Chea has been involved with the company since 2012. You may have seen the singer/dancer/choreographer in BARE, Legally Blonde, Follies, Into The Woods, and Dreamgirls to name a few. Her dance background includes training in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, African dance, and musical theatre. In addition to being a part of the DATC, she is the Artistic Director of Hidaya Diaspora Dance Collective based in Detroit, and Windsor, Ontario. 

GERIANNE DITTO-HARVEY

Music Director | gditto@gmail.com

 

Gerianne Ditto-Harvey has served as Music Director for the Detroit Actor’s Theatre Company since the beginning in 2011. After graduating from Adrian College with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance, Gerianne began her music career singing in the Detroit Opera Chorus from 2008-2012, while also working as a freelance pianist (Roeper schools, Clawson schools and Wayne State University). While Gerianne adores her roles offstage in the DATC, she loves being onstage as well. Her favorite roles to date are Kili (The Hobbit) and Jeannie (HAIR). Gerianne is passionate about her work as a composer, and has written several scores for the DATC productions of The Laramie Project, Laramie: Ten Years Later, and The Hobbit. She performs with and co-manages Motif, a Detroit cover band, and is one half of the Dynamic Duo, which tours nationally. Additionally, Gerianne serves as Director of Music for Christ the Good Shepherd church in Ferndale, MI.

ADAM MILSTEIN

Tech Director | info@thedatc.org

 

Adam Milstein has been involved with The DATC since January 2015 when he came to see Ferndale Follies and was asked to focus a light in his dress clothes. From then on Adam has been the “man behind the board” whether sound or lighting. Popular design credits include Follies: Destination Broadway, American Idiot and Hair. Adam now oversees all tech developments for The DATC. He is entering his sixth year at The DMC Harper/Heart Hospital as a Registered Nurse. In his free time, he likes to cook, sleep, travel and explore the world of photography.

Board of Directors

Joshua Miller Esq.

Chair of the Board

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Oakland County

Adam Smock

Chief Marketing Officer 

Burton and Levy Inc.

Linda Bruton

Attorney at Law

Detroit, MI

Carol Milstein

Retired

University of Michigan and

Ann Arbor Symphony

Michael Cadotte

Vice President

GDI Integrated Facility Services

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The Detroit Actor's Theatre Company is a 501c3 recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.

EIN 45-3728483. 

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