Jeff Daniels on the Purple Rose Theatre’s future: “I don’t know if we’re coming back”

The Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea.

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You can add Chelsea’s Purple Rose Theatre to the list of Michigan establishments whose futures are up in the air because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on the Crain’s Detroit Business “Detroit vs. COVID-19” podcast, Purple Rose founder and artistic director Jeff Daniels raised the possibility that the theater might never reopen once the pandemic is over.

Jeff Daniels

He raised the issue while discussing a series of fundraising YouTube concerts he’s been doing for the Purple Rose during the pandemic.

Daniels, a film star who still lives in Chelsea, also said it will likely take a vaccine before people start returning to any theater, so that could be many months or more away.

“I don’t know when we’re coming back,” Daniels said. “I don’t know if we’re coming back. We’re gonna sit shoulder to shoulder and it’s probably going to take a vaccine. And I don’t know when that’s going to be, so we need all the help we can get.”

You can watch the latest concert tonight (May 18) at 7:30 p.m. on the Purple Rose YouTube channel here.

Daniels founded the theater in his hometown of Chelsea in 1991 and named it after “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” a Woody Allen film that featured one of his most acclaimed roles. The Purple Rose produces professional theatrical productions, many of which were written by Daniels himself, including the hit, “Escanaba in da Moonlight.”

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