Encore Michigan

Detroit Mercy presents ‘Unheard Voices’ 4/20-4/23

Show Announcement April 09, 2023

DETROIT (April 6, 2023)—Detroit Mercy Theatre Company is proud to present the world premiere of Unheard Voices: Afro-Brazilian Diaspora April 20-23 at The Marlene Boll Theatre inside Detroit’s Boll Family YMCA.

The multi-media production is the brainchild of Associate Professor of Performing Arts and Department Chair Greg Grobis, who drew inspiration from his Fulbright Hays GPA trip to Brazil in 2022, awarded jointly to the University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit, MI and Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, FL.

Grobis was inspired by visits to several quilombo communities in the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia, Brazil, two of the three states in Brazil with the largest number of such communities.  Quilombo communities are formed of black slaves who rejected the slavery regime that controlled Brazil for more than 300 years, finally ending in 1888. 

“My hope is that this production will illuminate the courageous and brave voices of the Afro-Brazilian diaspora that live in the quilombos and greater Salvador,” says Grobis.  He adds, “All proceeds from the production will benefit a quilombo community to help contribute to securing their land rights.”   

The audience will be asked to be an active part of this unique performance experience, says Grobis.  “The audience will be invited to the stage to warm up their bodies and imaginations before participating in some of the scenes and forum events throughout the production.”  Additionally, each performance will include a discussion with Fulbright Hays scholars about the issues presented in the play and occurring in Brazil.

The production will feature students from University of Detroit Mercy’s Theatre and Social Change class and employ techniques designed by Brazilian activist and theatre practitioner Augusto Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed. 

“The performances will illuminate the social, political, spiritual and cultural experiences of these communities, while drawing parallels for University of Detroit Mercy students in their own lives,” Grobis said. “From my research in Brazil and methods and tools from our Theatre and Social Change class, students are devising and creating vignettes that will be performed throughout the show.”

Senior Jade Sibert is a student in Grobis’ Theatre and Social Change class and a member of the troupe for Unheard Voices. She is thrilled about the process and the production.

“It’s exciting because it sparks conversation and inspires all kinds of change,” Sibert said. “I’ve also come to realize that most things in life have multiple sides so this kind of forum theatre allows you to try different strategies and solutions with audience help and you create a story that involves everyone.”

Unheard Voices: Afro-Brazilian Diaspora runs four performances April 20-23 at The Marlene Boll Theatre inside the Boll Family YMCA at 1401 Broadway in Detroit. Purchase tickets online at www.DetroitMercyArts.com or by calling the ticket office at 313-993-3270.

The DTMC Ticket Office is open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Individual ticket prices are $25 for adults, $18 for seniors and Detroit Mercy faculty and staff, $10 for veterans and $10 for students with valid ID. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. To schedule your group, contact Sarah Rusk at 313-993-3273.


For more information on special events, visit udmercy.edu/life/theatre.

April 20 | Detroit Theatre Discussion Project: Discussion on Afro-Brazilian diaspora.

   Opening Night Reception & Celebration: Post-show reception to celebrate opening night. Sponsored by Thomas E. Page, ’71 ’76

April 21 | Detroit Theatre Discussion Project: Discussion on Afro-Brazilian diaspora.

   Community Night: $10 tickets for Detroit residents.

April 22 | Detroit Theatre Discussion Project: Discussion on Afro-Brazilian diaspora.

   Fulbright Hays Night

April 23 | Detroit Theatre Discussion Project: Discussion on Afro-Brazilian diaspora.

Week of 7/15/2024

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