Topic: College of Fine Arts

February 1, 2018

Actresses on set for Detroit '67
Actresses on set of the Department of Theatre and Dance's latest production, "Detroit '67," move during their performance. The production will open at 7:30 p.m. February 2 at University Theatre, with shows at 7:30 p.m. February 3 and February 6-10 as well as 2:30 p.m. February 4.

Ball State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance’s latest production, “Detroit ’67,” is a drama showcasing a pivotal time in history — the 1967 Detroit riots. The production opens at 7:30 p.m. February 2 at University Theatre, with additional shows at 7:30 p.m. February 3 and February 6-10 as well as 2:30 p.m. February 4.

American playwright Dominique Morisseau uses the story of siblings Chelle and Lank to highlight the historic events. The siblings work to make ends meet by opening an after-hours joint in their basement, but when a mysterious woman makes her way into their lives, they find themselves clashing over more than their family business. As their tension rises, so does their city’s, and they eventually become caught up in the riots.

“’Detroit ‘67’ is a timely addition to the production schedule because of its immense educational value,” said Andre Garner, director of the play and assistant professor of acting. “Many of our students are unaware of the parallels between the setting of the play and our society today. The riots and rebellion happened more than 50 years ago, yet some of the issues that precipitated that event — intense distrust between the black community and the police, the lack of empathy — resonate today.”

Professor Garner joined the Department of Theatre and Dance’s staff this year, and this is the first play he’s directing at Ball State.

“I hope the audience leaves the theater with a stronger appreciation for how much we all have in common,” he said. “‘Detroit ‘67’ examines the universal desire for the American dream while discussing the significance of family and community, which are important to everyone regardless of race. The play also highlights the strength of music — in our case, the catalogue of Motown — to serve as a unifying bridge that brings everyone together.”

Tickets for ‘Detroit ’67’ are available at the University Theatre Box Office, open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or online. The cost is $18 for the general public and $15 for students, faculty, staff, and senior citizens. Contact the box office at 765-285-8749 or visit the Department of Theatre and Dance’s website ( for more information.