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MSU students, professor helped create neighborhood production of “AFTER/LIFE” set for July


The untold story of the roles of women and girls who took part in the ’67 rebellion—developed through a college course where students researched the historic event— is the focus of a community play coming to Detroit this July.


“AFTER/LIFE: In Honor of the City Rising from the Ashes,” which commemorates the 50th anniversary ‘from the perspective of the thousands of overlooked women and girls who rose up to burn their city down,’ will run two consecutive weekends, July 20-22, and July 27-29, at the Joseph Walker Williams Recreation Center, 8431 Rosa Parks Blvd. There will also be a free arts festival in the park on Saturday, July 22nd.


“I was struck by the silence around women and girls’ involvement,” said Dr. Lisa Biggs, a Michigan State University professor who won a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant to fund the production.  “In ’67, they were pictured right alongside the men and boys on the streets. They put their bodies on the line, but from many written accounts you would never know it. I hope ‘AFTER/LIFE’ can better represent the past and create opportunities for audience members to dream a more fair, just and equitable future for Detroit residents.”

The Saturday festival will feature the debut of the ‘Art Emergency Vehicle,” a refurbished 1937 Ford fire truck mirroring a bookmobile but instead hauling art supplies and athletic equipment. The goal is to both stir discussions and to support the community, Dr. Biggs said.

“These will be places where young and old can meet, make some beautiful art together and engage in these important discussions about the city’s future, with the needs of women and girls at the forefront.”

Dr. Biggs, an actress, playwright and performance scholar, serves as an assistant professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University.


For more information or to buy tickets, go to http://bit.ly/2sejjrF (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/afterlife-a-new-detroit-67-play-tickets-35465967664) or contact the MSU Partnership Office at 313-309-1683.


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