Encore Michigan

Original “Dream Deferred: Detroit 1967” at Matrix; opens June 2

Preview May 18, 2017 Encore Staff

DETROIT—Matrix Theatre Company completes its 2016–2017 Mainstage Season with its most highly anticipated show, Dream Deferred: Detroit, 1967.

Reflecting on a formative moment in Detroit’s history, this original production unearths, for the first time, real interviews recorded by Dr. Xavier Nicholas following that summer’s uprising. Dream Deferred: Detroit, 1967 gives voice to the unique experiences and perspectives of a cross-section of Detroiters to find out what really happened and how we can learn from the pain of our shared past.

“Dr. Nicholas has given Matrix Theatre Company an amazing opportunity to dramatize and present a number of never-before-heard voices and experiences,” said Megan Buckley-Ball, Matrix’s Artistic Director. Dream Deferred: Detroit, 1967 offers a look at a true diagonal slice of those involved in that summer’s events. Staying true to Matrix Theatre Company’s mission, we are creating this production to strengthen our community and learn from this tumultuous moment in our city’s history.”

The production team for this one-of-a-kind theatrical event includes Matrix Artistic Director, Megan Buckley-Ball; director, David Wolber; script consultant and social psychologist Dr. Harvey Reed; and interviewer and literature professor (retired), Dr. Xavier Nicholas. The cast includes Melissa Beckwith , Joshua R. Brown, Kate Fullerton, Jonathan Jones, and Mike Sandusky. The production team also includes stage manager, Sarah Drum; scenic designer, Elspeth Williams; costume designer, Lauren Montgomery; and lighting designer, Alex Gay.

Dream Deferred: Detroit, 1967 shares narratives and perspectives you won’t hear anywhere else, as Dr. Xavier Nicholas has exclusively chosen Matrix Theatre Company to share with the world these coveted, true stories. The first person accounts feature a cross-section of people, including government officials, first responders, residents, reporters, community leaders, business owners, medical personnel, and more. Interviews with Gov. George Romney, Ike McKinnon, and an undercover police officer who raided the blind pig, among others, are dramatized in the production.

As a doctoral student at University of Michigan during the summer of 1967, Dr. Nicholas recognized the historical significance of the civil disturbance that took place in Detroit from July 23 through July 27. Identifying a unique opportunity, he searched out and interviewed a diverse swath of people to capture their individual experiences during the historic event. A year ago, he reached out to Matrix Theatre Company to discuss turning these singular interviews into a theatrical piece, and Matrix jumped at the opportunity.

The original production opens June 2 and runs through June 25 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 3:00 pm. All performances are presented at Matrix Theatre Company, located at 2730 Bagley Avenue in the heart of Mexicantown. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students, seniors, active military personnel, and veterans and may be purchased in advance or, if available, at the door. Group rates are also available. For further information or to purchase tickets, visit www.matrixtheatre.org or call (313) 967-0599.

Post-show events, including facilitated discussions and Q and A talkbacks, are planned for performances. More information about these events is forthcoming. The final dress rehearsal on Thursday, June 1 is a “Pay What You Can” performance. Beginning this season, in order to help eliminate the barrier between audiences and live theatre, patrons can choose to pay whatever amount they want at the door to see the preview show of Dream Deferred: Detroit, 1967. Tickets will be available that evening only on a first-come-first-served basis and cannot be purchased or reserved in advance. Doors open at 7:30 pm for the 8:00 pm performance. Visit www.matrixtheatre.org or call the box office for further information.

Week of 9/25/2023

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