Encore Michigan

Detroit Public Theatre and Harlem9 join to offer ’48hours in™ Detroit’ July 14

Preview June 28, 2019 Anne Kiley

DETROIT—Obie Award-winning Harlem9 in collaboration with Detroit Public Theatre (DPT) will produce the inaugural 48hours in…™Detroit, a festival featuring six 10-minute plays by native and current Detroit playwrights, directors, and actors telling Detroit stories on Sunday, July 14.

 This 48-hour weekend of play creation with emerging and established artists will culminate in public performances at Wayne State University’s Department of Theater and Dance, Maggie Allesee Studio Theater (480 W. Hancock in Detroit).  Show times are 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. A second 48hours in…Detroit festival is planned for summer 2020.

 Six playwrights, six directors, and 18 actors will be challenged to create 10-minute plays using works by Detroit poets and visual artists as their inspiration. The selected inspiration poems are: “There are Birds Here” by Jamaal May;  “We want our City Back” by Melba Joyce Boyd;  “Cass Corridor #1” by Joel Fluent Greene; “They Feed They Lion” by Philip Levine;  “Save the Frescoes That Are Us” by  M.L. Liebler and “I Belong Here” by Natasha T. Miller. These works speak to the rich and diverse history of Detroit.

A John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge grant awarded in 2018, and matching funds provided by The Downtown Detroit Partnership and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Michigan Film and Digital Media Office, was the catalyst for this collaboration.

Tickets are available on Brown Paper Tickets.  Visit 48hoursdetroit2019.bpt.meto purchase $10 tickets in advance online. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $15. 

Since 2011, Harlem9, a collaborative producing organization comprising a group of Black theater professionals from various backgrounds,has commissioned playwrights of color to tell their stories in the annual 48Hours in…Harlem play festival.  The festival recently expanded to include 48Hours in…El Bronx.  The success of this expansion opened the possibility of engaging even more communities. 

Detroit native and Harlem9 producer Garlia Cornelia Jones has spent the last two summers in Detroit researching, writing and seeking to collaborate with Detroit artists. She was a July 2018 Artist in Residence at Popps Packing in Hamtramck, MI, and approached DPT in early 2018 to share the work of Harlem9.  The two companies have many artists in common and have both worked closely with Detroit native, award winning playwright, and 2018 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and 2018 TONY Award-nominee, Dominique Morisseau, who is a DPT board member and was part of the inaugural 48Hours in…Harlemin 2011.Additional donations for the project can be made here: http://bit.do/48Hours.

DPT, a regional theater in residence at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, has made it a priority to collaborate with the city’s arts, community, and education institutions from its founding. It produces nationally recognized plays and programs with world-class writers, directors, actors, and designers in the heart of Detroit’s cultural district. For more information about Detroit Public Theatre and its productions, subscriptions, or  group sales visitwww.detroitpublictheatre.org or call (313) 974-7918.  To purchase single tickets, please call (313) 576-5111. 

 Harlem9’s mission is to produce together, exploring the past, present and future of black culture, celebrating its rich and diverse history of storytelling. Bryan E. Glover, Garlia Cornelia Jones, Eric Lockley, Jonathan McCrory, and Liberation Theatre Company (Sandra A. Daley-Sharif and Spencer Scott Barros) are the producers that comprise Harlem9. 

For more information, please visit www.harlem9.org and www.detroitpublictheatre.org.

Week of 2/17/2020

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