"Unveiling the Mask" virtual theatre production features two separate companies exploring self-identity
The COVID-19 pandemic brought Theatre and Dance at Wayne productions to a halt, but the ingenuity of students, faculty, and staff have created several experiences for audiences to enjoy at home.
Director Billicia Charnelle Hines and Assistant Director/Choreographer Dr. RAS Mikey Courtney worked closely with the Hilberry Graduate Acting Company and the Freedom Players, part of the undergraduate Black Theatre & Dance Collective in the department, to devise two individual unique productions.
“Unveiling the Mask” explores identity, heritage, and race. Hines explains it as, “Within everyday life, we hide so much... There’s so much that people don’t know about us that is missing but are really important layers of who we are.” Actors in each company brought research and experience from their own lives to tell their own stories.
Both productions present pre-recorded scenes of individuals and groups expressing aspects of themselves that they may not show off to people as much. The scenes are brought together to tell one overall story per production. Audiences can expect a mix of comedic and serious pieces to entertain them throughout each show.
Each performance will start with a live virtual pre-show featuring Hines and Courtney introducing themselves and sharing why they decided to create Unveiling the Mask. Directly following each performance stream, there will also be a live post-show talkback with the cast and creative teams. They will answer questions from the audience as well as share their experience of putting the devised production together.
The Hilberry Graduate Company performance is Saturday, February 27 at 6:30 p.m. and the Black Theatre & Dance Collective (Freedom Players) performance is Friday, March 12 at 7 p.m. Please be advised that portions of these productions contain adult content which may not be suitable for children.
Tickets to the 2020-2021 season are sold on a pay-what-you-can basis. Public tickets for the virtual streams can be purchased online by visiting the department’s website, www.theatreanddanceatwayne.com or call the Box Office at 313-577-2972. The Box Office is available Tuesday through Friday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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