News Release

UDM Theatre Company Announces 43rd Season

The UDM Theatre Company proudly announces their 43rd season encompassing 5 productions produced over three locations.

Opening in September at the Charles H. Wright African American Museum is the world premiere of Dr. Arthur J Beer’s new play Jordan Anderson Writes a Letter. In October, November and February the company returns to Marygrove Theatre with James McLure’s Pvt. Wars, Neil LaBute’s This Is How It Goes and Jane Martin’s Somebody/Nobody. The season will conclude in the UDM Grounds Coffeehaus with Kathleen Tolan’s Memory House. Season 43 has five timely productions full of drama with a few laughs along the way.

World Premiere Special Production

Jordan Anderson Writes A Letter
By Dr. Arthur J. Beer
World Premiere September 6 and 7 at 8:00 pm
* Production not included with purchase of season tickets.

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation the Theatre Company of University of Detroit Mercy is pleased to announce the world premiere of the multimedia docudrama production Jordan Anderson Writes a Letter by Dr. Arthur J. Beer. This production was created to be shared with young audiences in school environments.

After the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Jordan Anderson and his family fled their Tennessee master’s plantation to find a new life in Dayton, Ohio under the mentorship of the great abolitionist, Valentine Winters. Their courageous journey from Tennessee slavery to Ohio freedom was later challenged by the demands of his former master to return home. Jordan Anderson assisted by Winters, responds to the letter of his former master with a letter of his own. The result is a human lesson in compassion, defiance and dignity.

This production is sponsored by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment of the Arts, Michigan’s Humanities Council and the National Humanities Endowment. Jordan Anderson Writes a Letter will premiere at the Charles H. Wright African American Museum on September 6 and 7 at 8:00 pm. Tickets to this production are free of charge and must be reserved through the UDM Theatre Company ticket office at 313-993.3270. Donations are requested to help fund the production to reach high school students in the Metro Detroit community.

Main Stage Season:

Pvt. Wars
By James McLure
Directed by David L. Regal
September 27, 28, 29 and October 4, 5,6 at the Marygrove Theatre

James McLure’sPvt. Warsis an intimate and darkly funny drama involving conversations of three Vietnam War G.I.s as they recover from physical injuries sustained in the war.

Hailing from vastly different backgrounds, the trio uses irreverence and humor to assuage the psychological damage that remains long after the physical wounds have healed.

This Is How It Goes
By Neil LaBute
Directed by Greg Grobis
November 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24 at the Marygrove Theatre
*Play contains adult themes and subject matter not suitable for young children.

Belinda and Cody Phipps appear to be a typical Midwestern couple: teenage sweethearts now married with children and a luxurious home. Typical except that Cody is in almost every respect an outsider – “rich and black and different,” in the words of Belinda, who finds herself attracted to a former classmate. Playwright Neil LaBute unblinkingly challenges the notions of gender, ethnicity and even love itself. Powerful, profane and above all unpredictable, This Is How It Goes is a devastating exploration of the myriad ways in which the wild card of race is played by both black and white in America.

By Jane Martin
Directed by Dr. Arthur J. Beer
February 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at the Marygrove Theatre

Jane Martin’s Somebody/Nobody weaves the tale of Loli, a homespun nobody runaway with the tale of award winning somebody actress Sheena Keener. Sheena seeking to leave the fame and fanfare of B-movie stardom behind appears bedraggled and bloodied at Loli’s low rent L. A. apartment. The action that ensues is a hilarious look at the cult of celebrity in the modern world.

Memory House
By Kathleen Tolan
Directed by David L. Regal
March 28, 29, 30 and April 4, 5, 6 at the UDM Grounds Coffeehaus

On New Year's Eve a mother bakes a pie as her adopted daughter tries to finish her college essay. As the New Year and the deadline looms, unexamined issues of the girls’ adoption, the rupture of her parent’s divorce, and fear of leaving home break through the surface. Memory House explores the past in the face of an unknown future and is a funny and moving story about the meaning of family in our contemporary society.

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 performing arts students, the rare opportunity to work on and off stage with theatre professionals. Annually, the Theatre Company spends 30% of its overall budget on professional associate guest artists and directors. 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.

Take advantage of the UDM Theatre Company’s best ticket offer by purchasing season tickets to the four main stage productions for only $50 for regular subscribers or $45 for discount subscribers (Seniors, Donors, Alumni, Detroit Residents and UDM and Marygrove Faculty and Staff), a savings of 40% off adult admission ticket prices. All processing fees will be waived for subscribers. Season tickets are now on sale through October 6. To request a copy of the subscription brochure, please sign up for the UDM Theatre Company e-newsletter athttp://theatre.udmercy.eduor email

Individual ticket sales begin September 3, 2013. Admission to the 2013-2014 season will be $20 for adults and $17 for Seniors, Donors, Alumni, Detroit Residents and UDM and Marygrove Faculty and Staff. UDM and Marygrove students are $5 and students outside of the university are $10.

The Theatre Company’s performances of Jordan Anderson Writes a Letter will be performed at the Charles H. Wright African American Museum at 315 East Warren Ave. Detroit, MI 48201. Pvt. Wars, This is How it Goes, and Somebody/Nobodywill be at the Marygrove Theatre on the campus of Marygrove College, 8425 W. McNichols Rd.Memory Housewill be performed in the Grounds Café in the lower level of the UDM Student Union Building on the UDM McNichols campus, 4001 W McNichols Rd, Detroit Mi 48221.

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. 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. To subscribe, or for more information, call the theatre box office at (313) 993-3270, or reserve tickets online at

Release date: August 20, 2013

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