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A new Kalamazoo-based professional theatre company, Bare Backstage Productions, made its debut in February 2017 with the Michigan premiere of Fifty Shades of Shakespeare, an hilarious and sexy performance featuring ten of Shakespeare’s steamiest love scenes performed by four actors; and the audience chooses who plays what role each night. This bawdy show blends classic characters with comedic improv that is different every time! 

Fifty Shades of Shakespeare stars local actors Katherine Harte-DeCoux, Ken Holda, Tanisha Pyron, and Mitch Voss. It is directed by Kevin Dodd and produced by Laura Henderson. 

Originally developed by Jess Shoemaker and (re)discover theatre, a Chicago theatre company, Fifty Shades of Shakespeare has been received rave reviews for the past three years in Chicago. 

“We are excited to bring this fun and unique show to Kalamazoo” says Executive Producer Laura Henderson. “Fifty Shades... has something for everybody,” says Director Kevin Dodd, “if you don’t know much Shakespeare, don’t worry. We’re focused more on how each scene shows a different aspect of love and relationships; Will just supplied the words, we bring the fun.”


Thank you again to our

Fifty Shades

Louie's show Sponsor:

The Lion's Den!! 

"Fifty Shades of Shakespeare"

promo video by She Films

CAST - 2017

Ken Holda - Actor

Ken Holda has been acting, directing, and choreographing in the area for 17 years.  He has been seen onstage at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, Farmers Alley Theatre, the Whole Art Theatre, and the Kindleberger Summer Festival for the Arts.  He has acted in several films for Chuck Bentley Productions.  Ken has directed the musical for the Kindleberger Festival for the past seven years.  Most recently, he portrayed Claudio in the Kalamazoo Civic's production of Much Ado About Nothing.  He is excited to be part of the inaugural production of Bare Backstage Productions.

Tanisha Pyron - Actor

Tanisha Lynn Pyron is a wmu theatre alumni who recently finished graduate studies at the University of Illinois. She is a creative renaissance woman classically trained actress, creative photographer, visual artist, spoken word poet, activist, cultural influence and brand ambassador (Infamous Mother's) Additional recent regional credits include Shawnta Iyun in Terrell Alvin Mc'Cranney's Marcus or The Secret of Sweet and in a notable return to the Kalamazoo Stage in over 4 years as Camae in Face Off Theatre Company's production of The Mountain Top at K College. Tanisha would like to first thank Jesus and the Bare Back production family for this amazing opportunity and dedicates the show to her son Jemmell Pyron. 

Katherine Harte DeCoux - Actor

Katherine Harte-DeCoux is originally from MI, an alum of WMU, and also studied Shakespeare in London at Marymount College.  She only recently returned to Kalamazoo, after working in NYC for 15 years as an actor / director / stage combatant / playwright / producer / educator / monologue coach.  Between regional work with many companies, including the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and the New York Renaissance Faire, and her own work as the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Mortal Folly Theatre and the Merely Players performance salon, she has directed and/or otherwise collaborated upon countless Shakespeare works over the last decade.  She also produced and directed the world premiere of Over Here at the 2014 NYC Fringe festival, recognized as a Best Bet from Theatre is Easy; other new work includes BROADSIDE! Women of Wit & Will - a collection of historically-inspired female-driven shorts at the Looking Glass Theatre - including her own play Lieutenant Nun: The Thrilling Adventures of Catalina de Erauso.  Favorite Brooklyn College projects include the Gi60 International One-Minute Play Festival, The Vagina Monologues, and her MFA thesis in Directing, Almost, Maine.

Mitch Voss - Actor

Mitch Voss has been acting since the age of 6 with his first role as Santa Claus in the school Christmas pageant to critical acclaim from his parents.  Mitch is a WMU Theater alum, recently attended the University of Virginia for an MFA in Acting, and received training from Andrew Wade, Head of Voice for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Over the years, Mitch has worked with nearly every theater company in Kalamazoo, including Farmer’s Alley Theater, the Kalamazoo Civic Theater, Whole Art Theater, Queer Theater Kalamazoo, Metallic Mannequin Company, Kindleberger Summer Festival, and Celery Flats Shakespeare in the Park.  Regionally, Mitch has performed at the American Shakespeare Center, Kentucky Shakespeare, Festival 56 (Princeton, IL), and the Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater, MI.  His Shakespeare credits include: Julius Caesar (Mark Antony), two productions of Romeo & Juliet (Romeo, Benvolio), two productions of Much Ado About Nothing (Don Pedro, Borachio), two productions of Love’s Labour’s Lost (King, King/Jaquenetta), three productions of As You Like It (Orlando, Jaques, Oliver/Jaques), and his personal favorite, Richard III (Richard III).  Mitch began his professional theater career 15 years ago as a director for Kalamazoo Kids on Stage.  You may also recognize Mitch from his recent appearance in a commercial for Modernistic.  

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