Meet the Rogue

Live theater. Unsolicited commentary.
From Detroit to Lansing.

Carolyn Hayes is the Rogue Critic, est. late 2009.

In 2011, the Rogue attended 155 plays, readings, and festivals (about 3 per week) and penned 115 reviews (about 2.2 per week).

Contact: Email | Facebook
RSS: All | Reviews only | Rogue's Gallery

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Theaters and Companies

The Abreact (Detroit)
website | reviews | 2011 SIR

The AKT Theatre Project (Wyandotte)
website | reviews

Blackbird Theatre (Ann Arbor)
website | reviews | 2010 SIR

Detroit Repertory Theatre (Detroit)
website | reviews

The Encore Musical Theatre Co. (Dexter)
website | reviews

Go Comedy! (Ferndale)
website | reviews

Hilberry Theatre (Detroit)
website | reviews | 2010 SIR

Jewish Ensemble Theatre (West Bloomfield)
website | reviews

Magenta Giraffe Theatre Co. (Detroit)
website | reviews | 2010 SIR

Matrix Theatre (Detroit)
website | reviews | 2010 SIR

Meadow Brook Theatre (Rochester)
website | reviews

Performance Network Theatre (Ann Arbor)
website | reviews

Planet Ant Theatre (Hamtramck)
website | reviews

Plowshares Theatre (Detroit)
website | reviews

Purple Rose Theatre Co. (Chelsea)
website | reviews

The Ringwald Theatre (Ferndale)
website | reviews

Tipping Point Theatre (Northville)
website | reviews | 2010 SIR

Threefold Productions (Ypsilanti)
website | reviews

Two Muses Theatre (West Bloomfield Township)
website | reviews

Williamston Theatre (Williamston)
website | reviews







Entries in SPOT THE ROGUE (12)


SPOT THE ROGUE for Weekend wrap-up

We've reached the last day of SPOT THE ROGUE for Thanks largely to some inspired Photoshop work, the total has edged up to $1,150, with the twelve-hundred mark just a whisper away thanks to a few pending entries. (Remember, all photos must be emailed to by midnight tonight in order to count toward the grand total.)

Rogue readers have done a commendable job thus far in building support for the fundraiser, but there are still funds remaining for the final push. The easiest way to contribute today is to cover all but your eyes for a RogueReplica image, which can be done anywhere in a matter of moments and bump up the total by another $5. The second-easiest way (and twice as lucrative, at that) is to go to a theater tonight and take a picture of yourself for a $10 SPOT THE [You] entry.

Your charge, Michigan theater fans and artists, is to break my bank in your support of If everyone in the cast and audience of Planet Ant's industry night of Séance 4 plays SPOT THE [You], I'll smile through every slurp of Top Ramen. If everyone in the cast and audience at the Ringwald's half-off Monday performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch plays, I'll make happy noises as I nudge my thermostat down. If everyone in rehearsal tonight makes it a photo opportunity, I'll cry mercy and celebrate at the same time. So do your worst, supporters, and make me proud.


SPOT THE ROGUE for Introducing the Lightning Round

WHO Supporters of

WHERE Anywhere in the world. Artists who have left the Michigan nest, this is your chance.

WHEN Entries accepted Saturday, October 29, through midnight Monday, October 31.

WHY To demonstrate our passion for comprehensive theater arts coverage in Michigan. (And because it's much harder to play SPOT THE ROGUE when the Rogue is out of town.)

WHAT Email with an image that falls within any of the following 3 categories:

"Rogue's Last Session"
Courtesy of Jess Preville

PhotoshopRoulette. Pledge amount: $10
Fabricate your own SPOT THE ROGUE opportunity on the backdrop of your choice. Players may acquire Rogue images from the photo galleries here and here. Creativity is encouraged (obscenity is not).

SPOTTED backstage
Courtesy of Rob Pantano
(and captive)

SPOT THE [You]. Pledge amount: $10
Go to a theatrical event, anywhere, and take a picture of yourself.
You could be attending a show, performing in a show, or working at or around a show; entries from backstage, the house, the lobby, in front of the marquee, or in any corner of a theater are all welcome. (Note: Participants must adhere to house rules about prohibited activities during a production. Taking photographs of a play in progress is verboten; not only will such entries be rejected, you're setting yourself up for a Rogue of a talking-to.)



Courtesy of Anne Marie Damman

RogueReplica. Pledge amount: $5
Stage your own version of the SPOT THE ROGUE playbill-peekaboo image using any playbill or program, or use this space to show your affection for, no matter how far away you are.




Participants may submit multiple entries from different categories; however, only one entry per person will count in any given category. (For example, the above-pictured Rob Pantano may still submit a PhotoshopRoulette or RogueReplica entry, but cannot submit another SPOT THE Rob Pantano.)


SPOT THE ROGUE for Day 7 wrap-up

Making it a grand with the Dead Guy.

I make a living as a copy editor, so my love of a correctly placed comma is well documented. However, I don't know if I've ever enjoyed typing the comma so much as I just did in the updated total. That's right, SPOT THE ROGUE for has crossed the threshold into four-digit fundraising with a total of $1,025! (Editor me is limiting that to a single exclamation point, but imagine a few dozen invisible ones stringing along behind it topped off with some clip-art fireworks. Yes, my excitement has reached clip-art heights.)

Tonight is Michigan's last opportunity to SPOT THE ROGUE in person, at opening night of Much Ado About Nothing at Hilberry Theatre. Watch this space for the heavily anticipated WEEKEND LIGHTNING ROUND, which will — so help me — offer supporters all over the world the opportunity to pitch in and show their support. Details about the all-play extension of the fundraiser are now available, and LIGHTNING ROUND entries will be accepted this Saturday through Monday.


SPOT THE ROGUE for Day 6 wrap-up

I didn't picture myself as Roguey Claus, but who am I to argue?

What have we accomplished in 6 days?
•Ensured some ramen eating in my future by raising $800!
•Exceeded the 29 entries of the original SPOT THE ROGUE contest
•Baffled the slideshow feature, which tops out at a paltry 30 images

This is cramazing, and we're not finished yet. Many thanks to the enthusiastic improvisers and staff of Go Comedy!, who not only stopped to meet me and take my picture last night, but used my suggestions and let me sing along and fed me cheese cubes and crackers and unbeatable beer specials as the laughter rolled on. And to the greatest bartender around, who vowed to match my pledge for his SPOT THE ROGUE entry by donating $25 of his own through the established Paypal fund, thanks a thousand times over for your generous spirit and dedication.

Tonight it's mid-Michigan's turn to show me what they've got; I'll be rolling into Williamston to revisit The Dead Guy in its final weekend. Along with Friday's stop at the Hilberry for opening night of Much Ado About Nothing, this is one of the final in-person SPOT THE ROGUE opportunities before I leave town for a long-planned visit. I'm finishing up the details on the WEEKEND LIGHTNING ROUND even now, and will have full instructions available for you tomorrow. So just wait for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, when it will be just as easy and even more convenient to SPOT THE ROGUE, no matter where you are.


SPOT THE ROGUE for Day 5 wrap-up

You don't HAVE to appear in your SPOT THE ROGUE picture, but I must admit I love it when you do.

Last night was a SPOT THE ROGUE smorgasbord at The Hot Mess Chronicles 3. Photos are trickling in ever so slowly, both via email (preferred method) and on Facebook (not-preferred method, Facebook friends), so right now my total stands at $575. However, it takes more than one hand to count the number of entries I'm still waiting to receive, so if you have a photo of me but haven't sent it along, consider yourself chastised. Send me that email attachment and let's clear $700 already!

One of the great things about SPOT THE ROGUE for, and one of the reasons I started the fundraiser, is the many conversations I've been able to have with local artists about the site and its importance. The one thing I find myself returning to is the need for a multitude of voices that will bring the greatest number of patrons into our area theaters. I've enjoyed some kind appreciation of my highly analytical perspective, but the truth is, some people don't care about what the lighting scheme is trying to say about sanity or how a finely honed power struggle presents a larger commentary on religion in postmodern alternate-reality France. So many patrons want to base their decision solely on what the play is about, and/or whether they want to laugh or cry or ponder or hear some songs, and we need them, too — urgently so. Therefore, the more voices that advocate for your art, the more (and more varied) patrons will be reached and intrigued, and the more successful our community can be as a whole.

If is to be preserved, the motivation and action — and, yes, at least some of the funding — needs to come from those who would miss it most acutely. That means it does fall to the theaters and theater artists to take an active part in this effort. The Paypal fundraiser is still going; this is a fantastic way to chip in a small amount at the outset. Although the depth of our support is likely to be small, we can and must make up for it in breadth, which will point to how many people this affects and can only help the site gain sway as it pushes forward.

Join me tonight to check out one or all of the offerings in the Go Comedy! wednesday lineup: The Gauntlet at 8, Matt Naas and the Sing-a-long Singers at 9, and Proving Grounds at 10 (during which I'll briefly sneak out to the bar so as not to be spoiled for their upcoming holiday sketch comedy show). Troupe members, theater staff, and patrons alike can play: snap a picture of me, email it to, and I'll boost your contributing power with a $25 pledge to

As for this weekend, here's the part I haven't divulged until now: I'm going to be out of town Saturday through Tuesday, i.e., through the end of the fundraising period. So to the several individuals who have asked if they could Photoshop me into a picture, and to those faithful readers who have moved away but use to stay connected to the Michigan theater scene, soon it will be your time to play SPOT THE ROGUE — like never before. Tomorrow I'll outline the rules for the weekend lightning round.