ACTORS BRIDGE ENSEMBLE presents the Nashville premiere of
by Dominique Morisseau
at Darkhorse Theater
Friday, February 24, 7:30 p.m.*
Saturday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 26, 4 p.m.**
Wednesday, March 1, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 2, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 3, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 4, 7:30 p.m.
Ticket Prices: General Admission – $25 in advance; $30 at the door
Ticketing Site: https://detroit67.eventbrite.com
*There will be an opening night reception and talk-back following the performance on Feb 24th.
**There will be a talk-back following the Sunday matinee on Feb 26th.
STORY: It’s 1967 in Detroit, and Motown is getting the party started. Chelle and her brother Lank are making ends meet by turning the basement of their childhood home into an after-hours club. But when a mysterious woman finds her way into their lives, the siblings begin to clash over more than the family business. As their pent-up feelings erupt, so does the city around them, and they find themselves caught in the middle of the ’67 riots in America’s Motor City.
CAST: DETROIT ‘67 stars LaToya Gardner, Percy Bell, Jr., Latrisha Talley, Will Robbins and Sarah Wood.
“DETROIT ‘67 illuminates a significant moment in our nation’s history through the intimate lens of one family’s experience. I know Nashville will appreciate the ways in which the play’s Motown soundtrack echoes the emotional undercurrents of the story,” says ABE Producing Artistic Director Vali Forrister.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Alicia Haymer. Her vision for the play is beautiful. She is well-known to Nashville audiences as an outstanding actor. It is an honor to support her as an emerging director digging into such a rich script,” Forrister adds.
Director Alicia Haymer explains, “Dominique Morisseau’s DETROIT ’67 is one of those plays where all you have to do is get out of its way and let the story tell itself. The text is so rich and natural, weaving a story that is surprisingly relevant to today’s issues, among them, police brutality in the black community. My hope is from the first lights up to the last ones down, the audience will be taken inside the hopes and dreams of this black family as they grapple with where they fit inside the larger American Dream.”
Well-known Nashville theater artist and Chief Spiritual Officer of Infinity Fellowship Interfaith Gathering, Rev. jeff obafemi carr, gave Forrister early guidance on the project. Of the play he says, “The true test of universality is — as August Wilson pointed out — the commitment to cultural specificity, which provides context for all true-to-life human struggles. When I first read the play, I realized that I could, with minor adjustments to nomenclature and colloquialisms, re-title it ‘Nashville ’17.’ The playwright captures the energy and life of black dreams within the overarching context of race, class, and the ever-lingering specter of police violence. This is a must-see play, for all audiences. It tells a story the right way–with a subtle pen.”
The ABE production team for DETROIT ‘67 is Mitch Massaro (scenic design), Richard Davis (lighting design), Christy Berryessa (costume design), Amanda Grace Creech (production design), with stage management by Nyazia Martin and assistant stage management by Haley Northington and Kate Prosser. The play is produced by Vali Forrister.
4610 Charlotte Avenue
Nashville, TN 37209
Parking: Free parking for the Darkhorse Theater is available along 47th Avenue, in the lower lot behind McDonald’s (at 47th and Alabama) and in the SunTrust lot at 46th and Charlotte.
The ABE 21st season will continue with the Nashville premiere of THE AMISH PROJECT by Jessica Dickey (Ensemble Version), directed by Jaclyn Jutting as this year’s collaboration between Belmont University Dept. of Theatre & Dance and Actors Bridge Ensemble. April 7-9 & 20-23 at Belmont’s Black Box Theater.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:
Alicia Haymer, a Nashville native and Fisk alum, is so excited and honored to make her directing debut with Actors Bridge Ensemble. In the many years that Alicia has been on stage in Nashville, she’s worked with The Nashville Children’s Theatre, Amun Ra Theater, SistaStyle Productions, Tennessee Women’s Theater Project, Destiny Theater Experience, and the Nashville Repertory Theater, among other wonderful playhouses in Nashville. She gives special thanks to her loved ones who always cheer her on, especially Carmen and Cayla.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
Dominique Morisseau received her BFA in Acting from the University of Michigan and her start as a performance poet in the Detroit community of Harmonie Park. She has since become a noted award-winning playwright in NYC and is currently developing a 3-play cycle about her hometown, entitled “The Detroit Projects”. The inaugural play Detroit ’67, about the riots/rebellion in 1967, originated at the Public Theater and extended at Classical Theatre of Harlem with the National Black Theatre. The production was nominated for 8 Audelco Theatre Awards including Best Playwright. The second play Paradise Blue, about Detroit’s 1949 jazz community uprooted by urban renewal, was the winner of the L. Arnold Weissberger Award and received development at Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, and the Public Theater. The third and final play Skeleton Crew, about a makeshift family of workers at the last exporting auto plant in the city, recently received a Barebones production at the Lark Play Development Center. Ms. Morisseau, a recent PoNY (Playwright of New York) fellow, is also generating a substantial body of work independent of the Detroit cycle: Sunset Baby, Follow Me To Nellie’s, and Blood At The Root. Her work has also been published in NY Times bestseller- “Chicken Soup for the African American Soul” and in the Harlem-based literary journal “Signifyin’ Harlem”. She is a Jane Chambers Playwriting Award honoree, a two-time NAACP Image Award recipient, honoree for the Primus Prize by the American Theatre Critics Association, and winner of the Stavis Playwriting Award. U of M has also awarded her with their Emerging Leader Award, and the city of Detroit has honored her with a Spirit of Detroit award. Most substantially, Dominique has recently been awarded the esteemed Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama. She is an artist that believes wholeheartedly in the power and strength of community. More at: http://dominiquemorisseau.com/
About Actors Bridge Ensemble:
For the last 21 years, Actors Bridge has been a force on Nashville’s cultural landscape. As an actor training program, we have worked with over 4000 students who have gone on to perform on local, regional and national stages as well as film and television. There are few local productions that do not include a performer in some way influenced by Actors Bridge training. As a professional theatre company, our mission is to tell the stories that impact our community by producing provocative and socially relevant theatre, creating new theatrical works, showcasing emotionally authentic ensemble acting and fostering a nurturing environment for theatre artists at any stage in their professional development to take creative risks. We have produced over 80 plays, including 14 world premieres and 45 Nashville premieres.The company is led by co-founder Vali Forrister. For more information: actorsbridge.org