News Release

'Wings' offers dramatic perspective into the flight of a mind

Arthur Kopit’s Wings explores the strange, terrifying, and shattered world of Emily Stinson. In this gripping drama, Emily is suddenly faced with the desperate need to comprehend and make sense of her surroundings, her physical being, and her own mind. Emily must brave the frustrating and deeply disturbing challenges of aphasia, the result of her severe stroke. Performed at the Marygrove Theatre, Wings runs February 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8:00 p.m. and February 10 and 17 at 2  p.m. 

In 1976, Kopit was commissioned to write an original radio play by the NPR drama project “Earplay”. Just prior, his father had suffered a debilitating stroke, which inspired Kopit to write the play about the language disorder and psychological perspective of a stroke victim. The character of Emily is an amalgam of two women who were both patients at the rehab center that cared for his father. Written in 1978, Wings was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and also a Tony nominee for Best Play. The first professional stage performance of Wings took place at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut on March 3, 1978, where it won The Best Plays of 1978 in the Burns Mantle Theater Yearbook.

This production is directed by David L. Regal and features associate guest artist Melissa Beckwith, who returns to the UDM Theatre Company stage after her poised and witty portrayal of the mother in Boris Vian's, The Empire Builders.

The cast of Wings is rounded out by the physicians attending to Emily, Dr. Ross and Dr. Murray (played by Patricia Thompson and Jordan Robinette, respectively). Nurse Wright (Michelle Renaud) and Nurse Fent (Shaunte McArthur) offer care and support to the confused Emily as she works toward recovery with therapist Amy (Lena Denard), fellow stroke patients Billy (Joel Frazee) and Mr. Brownstein (Dr. Arthur Beer) and Physical Therapist (Reshawn Wilder).

The Theatre Company at University of Detroit Mercy continues its mission of providing the Metro Detroit community with thoughtful, high-quality, and professional productions. The Theatre Company offers students of the Performing Arts Department the rare opportunity to work on and off stage with theatre professionals. By working with professional directors and associate guest artists, students are encouraged to work at a high level, producing rapid growth throughout their undergraduate education.

For more information on becoming a student or an associate guest artist, please contact Greg Grobis at 313-993-3273.

Individual ticket sales are now on sale. Admission to the 2012-2013 season will be $20 for adults and $17 for Seniors, Donors, Alumni, Detroit Residents and UDM and Marygrove Faculty and Staff. Student individual tickets are $10. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more by contacting Lisa Rybak at 313-993-3270.

The Theatre Company events with Wings:

  • February 8 @ 8 p.m. Free for Students
  • February 9 @ 8 p.m. Alumni Afterglow: Held immediately following the performance in the Marygrove Art Gallery. Food and drinks are provided through our generous sponsors. Connect with UDM Alumni Donors and Theatregoers. Everyone is welcome!
  • February 10 @ 2 p.m. Talkback: A talkback is a post-show discussion where the audience meets with members of the artistic staff and cast. This is a chance to ask any questions about the show or artistic process and gain more insight into the author’s work. Everyone is welcome!
  • February 15 @ 8 p.m. Pay-What-You-Can/ Free for Students
  • February 16 @ 8 p.m. Livernois Corridor Community Night: Created to bring together our neighbors in the Livernois Corridor. Following the performance the audience is invited to mingle at the 1917 American Bistro on Livernois Ave. Jazz music, hors d’oeuvres and discount drink specials will provide a great after party! Everyone is welcome!

The UDM Theatre Company’s box office on non-performance days is located in Reno Hall room 43 on the University of Detroit Mercy campus (4001 W McNichols Rd, 48221). Hours of operation are noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. On performance days the box office will open 45 minutes prior to curtain at the Marygrove Theatre (8425 W. McNichols Rd, 48221). To subscribe, or for more information, call the theatre box office at (313) 993-3270, or reserve tickets online at

Release date: February 06, 2013

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The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan's largest private Catholic University, with more than 100 academic majors and programs. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy, the University has campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.

UDM is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities and the largest of 17 Mercy institutions of higher education in the United States. For the 15th consecutive year, University of Detroit Mercy is listed in the top tier of Midwest regional universities in the 2016 edition of the U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges."