Reclaiming Beauty 

Thanks in part to the Walt Disney Company, the story of Sleeping Beauty has become a familiar part of pop culture — a young, beautiful princess cursed to sleep forever is awakened by the kiss of her one true love. But if for some familiarity has bred contempt, the upcoming production of Sleeping Beauty — staged by local acting troupe the Actors’ Company at Southfield’s Youtheatre — is sure to shed a new light on the classic tale.

Think of it as Sleeping Beauty, the new and improved version. The basic elements — an evil witch and a cursed princess — are still there, but added to the mix is singing, dancing and a whole lot of fairies. According to Michael Gravame, founder and artistic director of the Actors’ Company, these changes make the story a lot more fun for children and adults alike.

Founded in 1989, the Actors’ Company has performed everything from Broadway musicals to lesser-known dramatic works, but focuses primarily on children’s theater. Its plays, Wizard of Oz and Cinderella, were two of the most successful performances ever staged at Youtheatre. Cinderella alone drew 1,100 theatergoers.

Youtheatre is a nonprofit organization that produces fun and educational performances for children. It also offers a Field Trip to Broadway program, which provides educational kits for teachers, and the Summer Conservatory program, a six-week children’s workshop for the theater arts.

Both organizations strive to make theater accessible to children at a time when most kids are more familiar with navigating the Web than playing make-believe. Sure, being technologically literate is an advantage in the 21st century, but the advantages — and fun — of live theater shouldn’t be so easily discounted.

“Kids are so bombarded with media and computers and TV today, they don’t have the interactive level,” Gravame says. “They can’t yell at a TV screen and get a response. It’s important for kids to have that interactive experience.”


Performances are Saturday, Jan. 22, and Sunday, Jan. 23, at the Millennium Centre, 15600 J.L. Hudson Dr., Southfield; 248-557-7529. Tickets are $8.

Megan O'Neil is a freelance writer. Send comments to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Megan O'Neil

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 12, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation