Williamston is a wonderful destination in the greater Lansing area, just about 14 miles east of Lansing. One of the aspects that makes Williamston so special is the Williamston Theatre. The theatre is currently in its 12th season, and this season, we are producing three world premieres, which is a new record for us. I am lucky enough to appear in two of them.
DOUBLEWIDE is a National New Play Network Rolling World premiere and has had just three other productions across the country this year. It is a wonderful story about a typical American family trying to achieve the elusive American dream in the 21st century. That runs from March 22 through April 22. It’s received great feedback already.
OUT OF ORBIT will be running from May 17 through June 17 and tells the story of a NASA Mars scientist who is trying to balance life on Mars with life as a single mom with a teenager here on Earth. It’s a lovely mother-daughter story.
Here at the theatre, we like to tell stories of people who we know…people who are our neighbors…people who you will recognize when you come see a show here. This aesthetic has led not only to local and national awards, but also to growing audience numbers. Over 11,000 people attend shows at our theatre throughout the year, and in response, the downtown Williamston area has developed into a foodie haven.
There are four wonderful restaurants within walking distance of the theatre, and one of Michigan’s most promising young breweries, Old Nation Brewery, is within a very short drive. Williamston is becoming a destination location for dining and entertainment. It’s also an incredibly quaint town, with easy parking, and lovely walks in McCormick Park right on the Red Cedar River. Williamston is a hidden gem, one worth taking the time to discover.
As a native to Los Angeles, California, I never dreamed of moving to another state. The food, entertainment, and sunshine were enough to make me feel like California would be my home forever. I loved California and the life I built for myself while there, but I’m glad I moved. The decision to move away from what I believed to be paradise was made during a five minute phone call with my then fiancé.
We were both seniors in college and the question of what we’re doing with our lives was a constant point of discussion. Because of the difference in our expected graduation dates and the fact that I had no clue what I wanted to do career-wise, we decided to plan our next steps based on wherever my husband was accepted for law school. He applied to various law programs throughout the country, including some great programs in California.
Right before my husband graduated college, he started getting acceptance notices from different programs for which he had applied. One of those notices came from Michigan State University College of Law. They invited him to fly out, visit the campus and meet with current students. When he came back home, he immediately called me and talked about his experience. I knew from the sound of his voice that he enjoyed his trip and started imagining himself there. Once he informed me about the attractive scholarship they offered him, I started imagining him there too.
As he continued talking, I looked up the school and noticed they had an amazing Linguistics program should I decide to continue my education and pursue my latent dreams of being a professor. Call it fate or divine providence, but in some crazy way, we managed to convince ourselves to move from everything we know to the unknown in a five minute conversation. We had no family, friends, or connections whatsoever in Michigan, and we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
Fast forward two years later and we’re still here. My husband is expected to graduate from law school this December, and while I decided being a professor wasn’t the career choice for me, I managed to cultivate an amazing career that has given me opportunities and experiences I never dreamed were possible. The transition wasn’t easy, but I’m glad we stuck it through. Being in Lansing has afforded us opportunities that would have never been possible in California. One of those opportunities in particular is the fact that my husband and I were able to purchase a home. The cost of living in Lansing made something that is not a possibility in California a reality.
My husband and I have fallen in love with the community and spirit here. Looking back, we probably should have taken more than five minutes before committing to a major life change like moving across the country; however, I don’t regret for a second the decision we made because it changed the trajectory of our lives. Lansing changed my life and I am forever grateful.
The 5:01 is looking for guest bloggers to share their experiences on the benefits of living, working and playing in the greater Lansing area.