Encore Michigan

Lansing State Journal: Williamston’s ‘Magnolia Ballet, Part 1’ haunting and powerful, runs through 11/6

News November 01, 2022 Bridgette Redman

WILLIAMSTON, MI–There are all sorts of ghosts that can haunt a young Black man growing up in Georgia—ghosts of racism, homophobia and toxic masculinity.

Chicago playwright Terry Guest explores the poignant life of a teenager with a secret who wants to exorcise the generational trauma that plagues him. “The Magnolia Ballet, Part 1” is a powerful play that opened to rave reviews last spring in Chicago. It makes its premiere in Michigan this month at Williamston Theatre and next June at Detroit’s Plowshares Theater.


Williamston and Plowshares are doing a joint production, sharing production costs, actors and technical staff. The director, Gary Anderson, is the artistic director at Plowshares and he is leading a cast that includes two Michigan State University students.

The Williamston production opens Oct. 21 and runs through Nov 6. Anderson and Williamston Artistic Director Tony Caselli went to see the show when it was playing in Chicago and both were impressed by it and felt it was important to bring “The Magnolia Ballet, Part 1” to Michigan.

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