Theater opened seven years after fire - WNEM TV 5

Theater opened seven years after fire

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A Mid-Michigan theater is back open once again after being closed for the last seven years because of a devastating fire.

The Lebowsky Center in Owosso proudly opened its doors once again Friday, May 9.

"We are excited. It's been a long time in the making," said Ryan Bladzik, executive director of the Owosso Community Players.

Seven years ago, the Lebowsky Center, home to the Owosso Community Players, went up in flames. The fire happened just a week and a half from opening night of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Friday, the newly renovated theatre was ready to welcome theatre lovers back with another fairy tale story, Shrek the Musical.

"Everybody's very excited, but we're also really focused. This has been ramping up throughout the days and weeks and months. And now we're just at the point where we're dotting our I's and crossing our T's and just waiting for that moment where we can welcome everybody back to the Lebowsky Center," Bladzik said.

Many in the cast are veterans of the Owosso group.

"It makes it a little more intense for us. Nerve-wracking, but I'm just excited to be back in a space that I missed," said Michael Windnagle, an actor in the musical.

The Owosso Community Players said with the complete theatre renovation it's not just for them to put on shows, but the place is for the entire community, and they hope it'll turn into a world class performing arts center.

"We are versatile and we are going to have entertainment here. From both the players and high-quality stage performances as well as music and other performing arts. And that's why we are the Shiawassee Center for the Performing Arts," Bladzik said.

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