BoarsHead Theater is a 250-seat Equity/IATSE house in the heart of Lansing, Michigan.
Founded in 1966, BoarsHead Theater is Mid-Michigan's only professional resident theater and the state's longest continually running professional theater. Each season the theater produces six Mainstage productions. As an AEA/IATSE company, BoarsHead attracts artists from Chicago, New York, Detroit and around the nation.
Boarshead Theater's History
BoarsHead Theater is Mid-Michigan's only professional theater. Started in 1966 in a large barn in Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge as a summer stock company by John Peakes and Richard Thomsen, it became a year round theater company in 1970 and moved its winter quarters into a converted church on River Street in Grand Ledge.
In 1975, they moved into their present home in Lansing's Center for the Arts on the corner of Grand and Lenawee in downtown Lansing.
BoarsHead is nationally acclaimed for producing new plays and renowned for its top-quality productions, with many award winning performancs and productions and for its very innovative and comprehensive Education and Outreach Programs.
Why the name Boarshead?
When the theater was started, it was their plan to present at least one Shakespearean production each season. By their third season, they realized that financially it was not practical. While Willie is in the Public Domain and therefore there are no royalty payments to be made, the number of high calibre actors that are needed for these large shows, the many costumes needed and the innumerable Actors who very much like to be paid, make the doing of Shakespeare a luxury to be had only every three or four years. They felt the "BoarsHead" name suitable for a Shakespeare-oriented theater because:
The BoarsHead Tavern is where Falstaff and Prince Hal and all the rowdy gang hung out in Henry IV.
The family crest for that evil Richard the III fellow was a Boar.
Richard Burbage, who was the actor for whom Shakespeare wrote the roles of Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, Richard III and many others, had for his family crest (i.e. his "badge") a boar's head. English families often took their names from their occupations (Baker, Butler, Mason, Cartwright, etc.) or for the more well-to-do, from their family crest (Lions, Harte,Star, etc.). Thus the actor's surname originally was Boars Badge, and eventually it transmuted into Burbage.
And then, they just liked the sound of it!BoarsHead Theater
425 S. Grand Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933-2122