The Encore's next stage


A rendering of Copeland transformed into the new Encore.

After an exciting Benard L. Maas Summer Series with some great outdoor performances, The Encore Musical Theatre Company is looking to take the next important steps in its project to transform the old Copeland School Building into its new home.

The non-profit musical theatre in Dexter is planning to make the recently acquired Copeland building into a state-of-the-art public destination for the arts in the Midwest.

However, to do that, it needs help.

Called “OUR NEXT STAGE” the Encore’s capital campaign will officially launch in mid-October.

“After 12 successful seasons and over 75 main stage productions on Broad Street, we are entering our next stage of becoming a nationally recognized regional theatre,” the Encore said in a statement about the campaign. “We are embracing a much needed expansion in moving to the historic Copeland building, and with your help we will build a state-of-the-art public destination for the arts in the Midwest.”

If the Benard L. Maas Summer Series is any indication of the community’s love and support of the Encore then the upcoming capital campaign should be a good one.

According to Dan Cooney, Encore’s Co-Founder/Producing Artistic Director, the outdoor performances at the new location were well received.

“The summer series was sold out for nine weeks and was a huge success,” Cooney said. “Our patrons created an incredible momentum through their attendance and donations.”

During the summer series, the Encore hosted Broadway performers Telly Leung, Aaron LaVigne, Jessica Grové, and Chelsea and Geoff Packard.

Encore's campaign is being lead with a $500,000 gift from the Benard L. Maas Foundation as well.

The campaign statement spells out perfectly the end goal of the transformation of Copeland.

“Through an adaptive re-use of the 20,000 square foot space, we will be able to strengthen the organization, accelerate artistic innovation, and amplify community engagement.”

Rendering of the Encore theater

Community is a key word for the Encore’s plans at the corner of Ann Arbor Street and Hudson.

“This simply would not be possible without your dedication over the last 12 seasons, and will not be possible now without your continued support,” Encore said in its campaign statement.

To learn more, go to or call 734-268-6200.

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