April 11, 2018

Eastern Michigan University Theatre performing “Detroit ‘67” on April 12-15

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YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University Theatre is now performing “Detroit ’67,” a play written by a Detroit native. The play addresses racial tension and police abuse in Detroit during the summer of 1967.

Written by Dominique Morisseau and directed by EMU professor Wallace Bridges, “Detroit ‘67” began performances in the Quirk Theatre last weekend, and will continue on April 12, 13, 14 at 7 p.m. and April 15 at 2 p.m.

The play centers on siblings Lank and Chelle, who make ends meet by running an after-hours club in their basement. However, when Lank offers shelter to an injured white woman, tensions escalate in their home and their community – and they find themselves caught in the middle of the violent ’67 uprising.

The setting of “Detroit ’67” immerses characters in a time rife with rioting over racial tension, injustice, and police abuse. Underscored with the music of Motown, Dominique Morisseau's drama brings to life this turbulent time with humor, tears, rage and love.

“While researching and directing the play, ‘Detroit ’67,’ I was taken by its historical significance, and how relevant that impact is today,” said Bridges. “For me, the play helps to dispel the myth that black people just needed an excuse to destroy property and loot businesses—in some cases their own.

“The truth is, the police had been beating and abusing black people in Detroit, and those rights violations came to a head in July 1967. What sparked the unrest was that police violated the rights of black people in a blind pig on 12th street.”

The play’s themes of police brutality and injustice against the African American community resonate strongly in today’s society.

“Like Lank and Chelle in the play, black people in Detroit were indeed hard working decent people who had finally had enough of police brutality,” said Bridges. “Now, fast forward to America in 2018, and African Americans are still suffering from abuse and murder at the hands of the police. Detroit ’67 reminds us that though Americans have made progress in relations between blacks and law enforcement, there is still a lot of room for improvement.”

Ticket prices for “Detroit ‘67” are $15 regular admission, $12 for students and seniors, and $9 for MAINSTAGE patrons. This production is recommended for audiences ages 16 and up.

Tickets are available in person at the Convocation Center, the Student Center ticket office or the Quirk Box Office, by phone at 734.487.2282, and online at the EMU ticket website. Note that there is an additional surcharge for tickets purchased by mail, phone or online.

For more information about EMU Theatre, our season, and directions to the theatres, visit the EMU Theatre website, like the program on Facebook, or follow it on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, at emutheatre.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 20,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

Contact Geoff Larcom, glarcom@emich.edu, 734.487.4401

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