Local graduate directs, produces first play at Wealthy Street Theater

Abby Pletcher

By Dan Pletcher


You can say that theater is in Abby Pletcher’s blood. Her grandmothers and mother have been involved in the arts including theater arts and now Pletcher will follow in their footsteps making her directorial and producing debut this month with the production of “Little Women: The Broadway Musical.”


OK, so the show scheduled for July 28 and 29 at the Wealthy Theatre is not her first foray into directing. The home-school graduate has directed many shows over the last several years, if directing your cousins counts. She usually has directed one show each summer since the age of 10. Her first big show involved all the kids in her neighborhood, where she directed a place called “Hotel for Kids,” which was a re-write of the kids movie “Hotel for Dogs.”


All of the other shows Pletcher has directed have been with her willing, although sometimes, coersed cousins. These shows would be held at the family’s favorite annual reunion hotspot in Big Rapids.


Although Pletcher has directed about a dozen shows with youth, this will be her first time directing for a show that is in conjuction with Homeschool Performing Arts – or just HPA (as referenced by those who know the group closely). HPA is a theater group that produces shows every year in the communities of Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Kalamazoo. To be more specific the shows are performed in the theaters of the Caledonia, Charlotte, and Comstock Public Schools. The show’s cast, crew, make-up, lighting, sound, and music are all done by high school kids who are home schooled. Parents and other family members assist in making the costumes, sets, and running rehearsals, but the kids learn and perform the shows. The group was stared by Brad Garnaat back in 1997. Pletcher has been involved with HPA as a student since 2008 where she has had the opportunity to observe, learn, and grow as a thespian.


Show times for the “Little Women: The Broadway Musical” are 7 p.m. both days, July 28 and 29, at Wealthy Street Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE. Tickets are $8. For tickets, click here. For more information about the production, visit www.hpami.org.