Another business is looking for new digs after its eviction from a city-owned building.
As the Lansing City Council finalizes the sale of the Miller Street Center to the Capital Area Soccer League, the Peppermint Creek Theatre Co. will be kicked to the curb in June at the end of its current season. Founder and artistic director Chad Swan-Badgero has yet to secure another venue suitable for his shows.
“We’re just grateful that we’re going to be able to finish our current season,” Swan-Badgero said. “We can finish our show in June, but then we’ll only have a little under a month to either move everything out or throw everything away. It depends on where we can end up going. Finding the space has been a challenge.”
The Miller Street Center has housed Peppermint Creek since 2013. Voters approved the sale of the building in 2014; it was appraised for $155,000 in 2016 — the Soccer League offered $125,000 and Peppermint offered $5,000. City officials, obviously, took the former. Swan-Badgero said Peppermint’s lowball offer was his only available option.
CASL director Scott M. Dane said the league needed dedicated office space but has since agreed not to disrupt Peppermint’s current performance schedule inside the building.
And as it turns out, finding performance space in (and around) downtown Lansing isn’t necessarily the easiest task for a small theater company like Peppermint.
“We’re sort of looking for any space that is available,” Swan-Badgero added. “Both the theater community and the city have been really great about giving us suggestions, but there just aren’t many viable spaces out there. We have every intention of having another season; it’s just a matter of finding the right fit for our needs.”
Peppermint’s one-man play titled “Every Brilliant Thing” will continue on Feb. 7-10. Next up is a performance of “Play Book #2: Constellations” on March 5 and several showings of “The Same Moon” in April. The season will conclude with “Indecent” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel in early-to-mid June.
“Typically, we’d be planning our next season by now, but that has all been paused for the time being,” Swan- Badgero added. “We can’t really plan dates or different shows without knowing the size of our next facility. With the space on Miller Road, we’ve really come to appreciate all this stage space. We’re still hopeful.”
Mayor Andy Schor, in the meantime, is also looking to provide assistance for Peppermint’s eventual move. But space constraints — even for the mayor — can be difficult to navigate.
A shared space might offer a solution, but theatrical performances still need plenty of space for a stage, seating and plenty of parking for the audience.
“We like to help people when we can,” Schor added. “I’m a fan of the arts community. We couldn’t turn down the $125,000 (from CASL) but we can do the best we can to make sure Peppermint Creek lands on its feet.”