Wayne State University theatre and dance students are heading to Scotland’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe — the world’s largest international performing arts festival — to perform “I Am,” a devised theatre performance which illuminates and engages audiences in current socio-political challenges.
Led by faculty members Billicia Charnelle Hines, Dr. RAS Mikey Courtney and Karen Prall, and created with student members of the Freedom Players, the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance’s Black Theatre and Dance touring ensemble, “I Am” explores identity and the path toward liberation in our society. Participating in this unique opportunity are Wayne State University theatre and dance students Cameron Blackwell, Micah Bolden, Dewight Braxton, Jane Clinton, Alexandra Failoc, Morgan Listenbee, Brooklyn Parks, Yakeem Tatum and Nigel Tutt.
“I Am” is an inspiring play that states that even through oppressive forces holding us down, through our own liberation we can break the shackles that binds us. It is about the continual challenge of seeking liberation. As a group of young Detroiters meet and interact, challenges arise as they realize their birth was political. The show is vibrant and eclectically diverse. It addresses universal themes of the human experience and each person’s independent journey of the liberation of self. This play offers a creative opportunity to initiate conversations about race, gender, sexuality, masculinity and privilege. Because of this creative process and performance, the performers have been able to increase their confidence in telling stories about their experiences. The show has been a way of healing, empowerment and discovery, for all of us.
The company will perform “I Am” at the Greenside at Royal Terrace in Edinburgh, Scotland from August 3 to August 9, 2019.
Luckily, Detroit audiences have a chance to experience “I Am” before the company embarks for their international tour. The 75-minute “pay what you can” performance takes place in the Hilberry Theatre on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. and includes a twenty-minute post-show discussion with the cast and creative team. Tickets for this exclusive performance are sold at the door as a donation to support the company’s international expenses.
Additional information about the Freedom Players is available online at http://theatreanddance.wayne.edu/about/freedomplayers.php.