Despite a history of prosperity, technological innovations, a powerful and lasting Union Movement, and a rich influence on the arts and music scene, Detroit was not immune to the racial tensions, economic disparity and civil unrest of the late 60s. On Sunday, July 23 in 1967, when the 12th Street riot erupted in the early hours after a raid on an unlicensed after-hours bar, the fate of this once booming blue collar town took a turn for the worse.
“I’m a native Detroiter, so this is a way to explain my history and my city. It’s an important landscape to me. It helped to shape the landscape we have now. I wanted to offer a human face to it for all of us – those of us who have lived there and those who have not.” -Dominique Morriseau
(Chapel Hill, NC) PlayMakers Repertory Company opens the 2016-17 Mainstage Season with Dominique Morisseau’s “Detroit ‘67,” onstage September 14 through October 2. Special events associated with the show begin September 7. It’s 1967, and the world is shifting for two siblings running an after-hours joint to make ends meet. Tensions mount when dreams diverge, their… Read more »
We have been receiving so many heartfelt responses from our audience letting us know how deeply moved they have been by Deen’s Draw the Circle. One sent us a note to say, “Though I consider myself very open to life lived in any configuration, I experienced angles I had not understood before. This was a gift.” Another responded by writing us, “Draw the Circle was one of the most profound and life-changing performances I have ever seen.”
We always encourage our audiences to go deeper and be part of the conversation. If Draw the Circle leaves you wanting to learn more or do more, please visit the links listed here.
“You don’t have to know anything about “trans issues” to see this play. And at the same time, there is a lot happening in the state of North Carolina and elsewhere that will directly affect the lives of transgender people, and you will leave this play understanding a little more about what the experience of being transgender is like.”-Mashuq Mushtaq Deen
“Sometimes Draw the Circle gets labeled a ‘trans play,’ but I don’t think it is. It’s fundamentally a story about family. A story about parents and children. Most of all, there are no bad guys in this play. There are people struggling to love in a world that is changing around them, and sometimes the struggle is the love. I will do my best to bring all of that struggle to the stage … and you are welcome to bring it to the theatre.”
The vicarious trip we make alongside Violet is one that cuts to the core of the human condition. With the blossoming of her initially diminished self, she becomes a symbol of each of our journeys through the paths of the maturation process, moving from ignorance to knowledge, from fragmentation to wholeness, from isolation to community, and from fear to love.
Thomas Cassidy appears in Violet as the fiery televangelist Preacher. Thomas was also in the acting companies for Guys & Dolls (SYC 2015) and Hairspray (SYC 2014), so he’s well acquainted with all the work that goes into putting on our Summer Youth Conservatory shows. Here he shares a series of photos, with personal captions, he took during rehearsal capturing a behind-the-scenes look at a “day in the life” during SYC.
Hi everyone! My name is Lili Whittier and I play Young Vi in PlayMakers Summer Youth Conservatory production of Violet. I’ve been involved in Summer Youth Conservatory productions for the past 3 summers, and I can say without hesitation that taking part has been one of the best decisions I’ve made.