Eastern Michigan University Theatre presents world premiere staged reading

A group of students around a table rehearsing the staged reading.

YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University Theatre is pleased to present a world premiere staged reading of “Cause Play,” authored by EMU Alumna Shavonne Coleman. “Cause Play” has been commissioned by Eastern Michigan University Theatre and Spinning Dot Theatre as part of the National BIPOC Superhero Project. A staged reading of this new work will be performed May 10 at 7 p.m. and May 11 at 2 and 7 p.m., one weekend only in the Sponberg Theatre, located at 1030 East Circle Drive in the Judy Sturgis Hill building on EMU’s Ypsilanti campus. The play is suggested for audiences ages 9 and up. 

Written by Shavonne Coleman and directed by Spinning Dot Theatre’s Ella Soto, the play takes the audience back to 1996, when students Zuvi, Zipper and Aaron meet at an after-school Cosplay Club at Southwest Academy Magnet Middle School in Detroit. Together, they create identities, discover surprising powers and work as a team to tackle various problems, including catching stray cats, defeating monsters, and facing fears. 

TYA/USA, the leading national organization for the professional field of theatre for children and families, is calling the TYA BIPOC Superhero Project, "the largest and most comprehensive partnership of theatres ever undertaken in the field." This initiative, created by Jose Casas, aims to feature stories of BIPOC superheroes and will culminate in a year-long celebration with productions, co-productions, and a published anthology of all the plays. 

Playwright Shavonne Coleman received her Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Michigan University in applied drama/theatre for the young. She is currently an assistant professor of theatre and drama at the School for Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan. Coleman has been awarded the Emerging Leadership award to research the historical impact of people of color in Theatre for Young Audiences from TYA/USA, the Anne K. Flagg Multicultural Award. She is a board member of the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America. As a playwright, her upcoming work includes a commission by Seattle Children’s Theatre to adapt “Your Name is a Song” by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, which received its first development phase at the New Harmony Project’s 2023 Conference. 

“Cause Play” is partly supported by an award from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ticket prices for this staged reading are $10 for regular admission and $5 for children. Tickets may be purchased online at emich.ludus.com, 734-487-2282, or at the EMU Ticket Office in the Judy Sturgis Hill building. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and 90 minutes before showtime. Please note that there is an additional surcharge for tickets purchased via credit card. 

Parking on EMU’s campus is available for a fee through LAZ Parking. Friday and Saturday performance parking will be available in the Alexander Pay Lot and the Ford Commuter and Staff Lots. The Ford Lots require payment before the show, pay by text or QR code. Payment can be made with a debit or credit card. Those with an EMU parking permit may park accordingly. Visit www.ParkEMU.com for more details about parking on campus. 

For more information about EMU Theatre, our season, and directions to our theatres, visit www.emich.edu/emutheatre.


About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 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; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

May 08, 2024

Written by:
Media Relations

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher