Planet Ant is a non-profit professional theatre founded on the principle of artistic freedom and experimentation, leading to the growth of community, artistic fulfillment and success. We're home to Metro Detroit's longest-running improv comedy show as well as some of the area's best scripted productions.
In 1993, Planet Ant began as a coffee house featuring live music six nights a week. Shortly after its inaugural year, the small coffee shop won three Metro Times "Best of" awards including Best No Cover Entertainment, Best Art Openings and Best Poetry Readings.
In the summer of 1996, Planet Ant was featured in the feature-length film Get The Hell Out of Hamtown starring Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele) and Larry Joe Campbell (According To Jim). Shortly after filming, Planet Ant transitioned to a theatre with its first theatrical event Praying Mantis directed by Key. Planet Ant then created its first original theatrical work, Garage: A Rock Saga starring Park: A Rock Band. This eventually became a feature film and helped to kick off Planet Ant Records who managing Park, The Nineteen Point Five Collective and other local bands.
Planet Ant's history as a cornerstone of Detroit's improv community began in 2000 with the opening of Sardines. Directed by Joshua Funk, the show was the theatre's first original comedy created through improvisation using what is now called "The Ant Process." That same year, Funk, Nancy Hayden and Margaret Edwartowski formed the Improv Colony launching Detroit's longest-running improv show, Improv Mondays. This 8pm Monday performance has continued for more than 15 years.
In the last decade, Planet Ant installed its landmark marquee, lighting up Caniff with its current and upcoming shows. Most recently, the theatre completed renovation of the building's top floors providing additional classroom, writing, and greenroom space for local artists.
Throughout its 20 years, Planet Ant has produced film festivals, improv festivals, Detroit Box Fests, and hosted events by The 313 and other renowned local and national artists. On its stage, the theatre has produced more than 130 high-quality plays and musicals with nearly 100 of them original works or those written by local artists. Its commitment to providing the best in theatrical productions continues to earn critical acclaim and awards from across the region.
2017 is a particularly big year in the history of Planet Ant as we will be expanding our offering by adding a brand new venue, Planet Ant Hall, and an adjoining bar, Ghost Light. These new spaces will allow us to offer additional improv comedy and theatrical productions, plus live music, movie nights, and much more. We're excited for the future, and we hope that you'll be a part of it!