WMU News

Special Detroit performance of Washington play

March 16, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A special performance of an original play by Von H. Washington, "The Griot's Place: Toward Tomorrow," will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 31, in the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit.

The 90-minute "Griot's Place" was created, produced and directed by Washington, professor of theatre at WMU and an alumnus of the University. The special Detroit presentation is being sponsored by the Southeast Michigan Chapter of the Western Michigan University Alumni Association.

The play takes place in the middle of an African village community and features "the Griot," or storyteller; six village elders; and singers.

Dramatic readings by the main characters are interwoven with vocal interludes to depict five time periods in American history. The first segment introduces the days of slavery and is followed by Reconstruction. The three remaining segments focus on the Harlem renaissance, segregation and the '60's revolution.

Cast members include Washington as well as four Detroit-area students: Ronald Cheek of Detroit, Tunisia Hardison of Wayne, Jarek Khan of Detroit and Dayna Dantzler of Warren. A reception will be held immediately following the performance, giving audience members a chance to interact with the cast and learn more about WMU's Department of Theatre.

The cost to attend the special March 31 presentation is $15 for WMU Alumni Association members and their guests and $20 for nonmembers. For more information, call the Alumni Association at (616) 387-8770.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu


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