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This week's Good Neighbor is taking her love of theater to the next level

Posted at 10:16 AM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-14 10:16:42-05

LANSING, Mich. — Almost every week, Lansing resident Jane Zussman is typing away at her computer, writing about the latest live theater performance she experienced.

Zussman says she started writing about theater 16 years ago.

“In 2006, I saw a poorly attended show, and I felt bad. I had a little email group that I would send information to if I was in a show, and I thought, well, I'll write something about this show. It deserves more people seeing it," she said.

Zussman says after that first review, she received positive feedback, so she kept writing.

It’s a lot of work. Zussman will see a show and start writing her review upon leaving the theater.

Her husband, Mark, usually accompanies her and also offers his critique.

“I do it partly because that's when I can remember it all. You know I've just come home on the ride with Mark, my creative consultant, and you know that’s when it’s the best time to write it," she said. "And also, the idea is to hopefully bring more people to the shows.”

She does much more than write a review. Zussman also keeps a calendar of live performances that theater companies throughout mid-Michigan offer. You can find the calendar at www.greaterlansingtheatre.net.

Her husband says she spends hours each week updating the calendar and writing the reviews.

“Well, you know, in the best of all possible worlds. There would be another Jane to come along. I would not put money into that. I mean, there are many elements of who she is and what she does. It’s something that she finds just more natural," Mark said. "I'm not saying it's easy, but it's more natural for her to do this. You know, it is a journalism kind of thing, and that she can do it and then come down and watch the tape of the PBS NewsHour.”

Chad Badgero, who runs Peppermint Creek Theatre, says Zussman’s listings and reviews are great for local theatre, and she represents everything a good neighbor stands for.

“That is someone who cares about the community, who is involved and invested in the community’s success, someone who works to move the community forward in a positive way, and someone who assumes positive intent from the people in the community and always shows up and does the work," Badgero said. "I believe that Jane Zussman does this for the theater community in many ways, making her a great neighbor.”

Melissa Kaplan, the fine arts coordinator at Lansing Community College, says Zussman is great for the mid-Michigan theater scene.

“She is a tireless promoter and supporter of every single theater company, college, high school, independent professional theater in our community, and we have a lot of theater going on,” Kaplan said.

Jane Zussman, for volunteering your time to make sure community theatre gets the attention it deserves, you are this week’s Good Neighbor.

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Bob Hoffman

Bob Hoffman

9:44 PM, Nov 26, 2018

Good Neighbors Host

Bob Hoffman

Good Neighbors
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