The Emperor’s New Clothes, the first Popcorn Theatre production of Tibbits’ 2024 professional summer theatre season, opens with a colorful cast of characters on stage. A vain emperor and a mischievous tailor will bring this magical world to life on June 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 10 am.

This adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen fable by Kathryn Schultz Miller brings lessons of truth and self-awareness to the stage. Peter, the mischievous tailor, comes up with a sure-fire get rich quick scheme. He convinces the vain Emperor that he can make magic clothes only the very smart can see. Everyone pretends they can see the clothes, until someone shouts out the truth.

Reflecting on the play, director Brenda Sparks shares, “The story teaches us the importance of honesty, the dangers of vanity, and hilariously shows us what happens when we go along with the crowd just to fit in. Our production will be taking a classic cartoon approach and will be chock-full of classical music in keeping with the spirit of those wonderful Saturday mornings where some of us heard our first operas and concertos, as acted by Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.”

Making up the professional cast of The Emperor’s New Clothes is Sarah Odom as Peter the Lowly Tailor, Matthew Palmer portrays both Alex and the Narrator, the vain Emperor is brought to life by Aidan Kelly, Jessica Vanek joins as Catherine and Narrator, and Mika Umemura plays the part of the Empress. Chad Tallon takes the helm as artistic associate, Taylor Poling serves as company manager, and Sarah-Parker Martin as production stage manager and sound support, with Elizabeth Kulaga as assistant stage manager.

Production staff features Ethan Rickert as technical director, and Jake McDivitt as sound designer, engineer and board ops. Costume design is done by Kayla Hemphill and Jade Zhang, who also supervises the costume shop. Josh Rockwell assists as technical director and master carpenter, and Trey Ewart handles lighting design, board ops and electrician duties. For a complete list of the staff, please go to

Popcorn Theatre is generously sponsored by the Bushouse Family, Dr. Jon and Seibra Herberner, Asama Coldwater Manufacturing, Vested Risk Strategies, Coldwater Exchange Club, Matthew C. Christopher, DDC, PC, and Coldwater Elks Lodge #1023. Their support plays a crucial role in bringing these vibrant cultural experiences to the community.

The Emperor’s New Clothes is the first show of the 2024 Popcorn Theatre season. With a great lineup, families will also have the opportunity to see Rumpelstiltskin and Pooh Corner, performed by Tibbits Professional Summer Theatre cast, and touring artists John Shango with The Big Fun Magic Show, and Kevin Kammeraad with A Morning with Master Puppeteer Kevin Kammeraad and Friends. Closing out the season is a special screening of Disney's animated movie, Frozen.

All Tibbits Popcorn Theatre performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 10am and run through August 3. Tickets are $10 and include free popcorn and juice at intermission. Popcorn is donated by Ed Lake, with juice donated by McDonalds: The Maynard Organization. To reserve your seat, visit, call 517-278-6029, or visit the Tibbits Admin Office at 93 W. Chicago. Group rates are available.