When performing arts educators Angela and Jonathan Talmadge moved from Santa Ana, CA to Lawton, MI in July of 2012, they noticed that many of the experiences readily available to kids in Southern California were harder to come by in their little corner of Southwest Michigan. They wished for their own son, then a first grader, and students like him to be able to sing and dance and act - to explore their own creativity and develop the skills to express it. That led to their first musical with students from Mattawan Early and Later Elementary schools and the creation of Opening Act Theatre Company. 

With the decision to put on that first musical came the next challenge, finding the perfect production. They needed a script that:  told a good story, was appropriate for children, had flexible casting, could be done on a limited budget, and would be engaging for the audience. They simply couldn't find it. So they decided to write it. That first show was A Little Bit of Kindness, a children's musical based on Aesop's fable, the Lion and the Mouse.

Since then, Opening Act has produced 11 original musicals in addition to established musicals, plays, cabarets, and concert performances. They continue to work to expand performing arts opportunities in their community and beyond.


Opening Act Theatre Company offers performing arts education in and around Van Buren county.  Our focus is on telling a good story.

Building community, making positive relationships with each other, is an essential part of our lives. As human beings, story is how we do that. We listen to others' stories, and we share our own stories in return.  The performing arts offer unique opportunities for expressing who we are and for learning from others. Hearing another person's perspective or engaging our imaginations to pretend to be someone else for a while can open our eyes to who they are and teach us something about ourselves. Words are a powerful communication tool, but sometimes only music or movement will do. Sometimes you need to do them all at once!

Opening Act empowers people to tell stories through acting, music, and dance.