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Art & Soul - The Performing Arts: 'Resisting' And Musical Events In Ann Arbor

Oct 26, 2017

Credit David Wells

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the performing arts in the Ann Arbor area.  89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry is joined by arts journalist and blogger Jenn McKee to chat about upcoming events and they talk with playwright David Wells about his new work, “Resisting.”


The new play “Resisting” from playwright David Wells will have its world premiere in Ann Arbor.  It is based on the true story of a black woman who witnesses and attempts to film a police arrest with her phone.  She is confronted by the police and arrested herself.  The audience follows her, as Wells puts it, “down the rabbit hole of the criminal justice system.” 

Wells doesn’t think the play will be controversial, but it will get people talking.

“I think what’s not shocking but infuriating is just if you don’t know a lot of the systemic racism built into our criminal justice system ,then it’s controversial but if you already know some of that then it’s just fodder for conversation,” says Wells.

Playwright David Wells.

The play runs from October 20th until November 19th at Theater Nova in Ann Arbor

A couple of big names in music will grace the Michigan Theater next week.  The Violent Femmes visit Ann Arbor on Sunday, October 29, and Tori Amos will perform on Tuesday, October 31.  Later in the week, hometown favorite and finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” Laith Al-Saadi returns for an 8 p.m. show on Friday, November 3rd.

Jen McKee also highlights a few can’t-miss speakers that will visit the Michigan Theater in early November.  Bassem Youssef is known as the Jon Stewart of the Middle East for his political satire TV show “Al-Bernameg”, which was the first of its kind.

“He is giving a talk about his experience not only launching this show in Egypt during a time of political unrest but how he was arrested and imprisoned because of that,” McKee says.

The talk, entitled “The Joke is Mightier than the Sword,” takes place at 7:30pm on Monday, November 6.

The Penny Stamps lecture series brings artist and illustrator Art Spiegelman to the Michigan Theater in a talk called “Comics is the Yiddish of Art.”  That is Thursday, November 9 at 5:10 p.m.

Also on November 9 is the third HERsay event at the Pointless Brewery and Theatre in Ann Arbor.  McKee says the first two events sold out, and she expects the same for this one.

Credit HERsay

“The idea behind this is to offer an evening of women storytellers, artists, singers, kind of a variety show of all local women pooling their talents together," says McKee.  "It’s a great, fun, interesting, really cool evening.”

Last, but not least, in the upcoming events highlight is the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.  The program on November 11 will feature the famous William Tell Overture.

Find more of Jenn McKee’s work following the Ann Arbor arts at a2artsaddict.com.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu