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USM Theatre: Detroit ‘67

USM Theatre: Detroit ‘67

PRODUCER'S NOTE     DETROIT'67    CAST    Director's Note


Producer’s Note

Welcome back to live theatre!

We’ve waited a long time to be back in a room together, with actors on a stage, patrons in seats, the hum of the lighting instruments overhead. If you’re like me, you won’t realize just how much you missed it until that moment when the play begins and you find you’re back home again.

All of us have talked a lot about the past year, about what it took from us. What it’s still taking from us. Who knows what we’ll say when we have enough distance to write the history of that strange period of time? Here at USM Theatre, we persisted, innovated, adapted, and kept going in the only ways we could. And while that was vital and powerful in its own way, it doesn’t come close to the real thing. Now we move forward, back home.

We’re here again in a place where bodies move in spaces. Some tell us stories from the past, but those stories are happening now, right in front of us. The visions of a collective of artists work in sync to create moments in time. And around us, our fellow audience members are there to help each other make sense of it all, to give it breath and meaning. There’s truly nothing like the theatre.

We’ve missed you. Welcome home.

Detroit ‘67
By Dominique Morisseau

  • Director- Sam Buchanan
  • Scenic Designer- Aline Toloto
  • Costume Designer- Rebecca Earehart
  • Hair and Makeup Designer- Raven Harris
  • Lighting Designer- Claire Brenia
  • Sound Designer- Andrew Bledsoe
  • Production Stage Manager- Jailan Patterson


“Detroit ‘67” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.



  • Lank- Detalion Dixon
  • Sly- Petron Brown
  • Chelle- Makallen Kelley
  • Bunny- Brietta Goodman
  • Caroline- Elizabeth Beagley

The action takes place in 1967 in Detroit, Michigan.  


  • Chelle, Bunny- Kymbrianna Griggs
  • Lank, Sly- Isaiah Watkins
  • Caroline- Ryn Miles

Please note: Understudies do not perform unless an announcement is made at the time of the performance.

There will be one 15-minute intermission.

Please turn off all cell phones prior to the performance. No food or beverages are allowed in the theater. Photography or recording of the performance in any manner is prohibited. Thank you!

Director's Note

I would like to begin by addressing the elephant in the room. Because of the color of my skin, I am a visitor in this story. I would like to thank my cast for welcoming me into their space and for giving me the chance to help tell this story. This process has been one of the most collaborative experiences in my directing career.

I see directing Detroit '67 as an act of service to a community that has suffered greatly because of people that look like me. I was unaware of the events in Detroit '67 until I was assigned the play.  I feel like it is part of our jobs, as artists, to educate our predominantly white audience on the blunders of our racial past.

Detroit '67 is not a story about the Detroit riots. It is about a family whose lives are violently interrupted by the events of those few days. The riots serve as a setting for the primary conflict to contrast against. The true conflict in the play is mundane:  issues of money, family, and romance. These are conflicts that are familiar to each audience member.  

The characters in this play have conflicting visions of their lives. Lank, against his sister's wishes, has spent his family's inheritance to buy a bar. Lank's sister, Chelle, was hoping to save the money to live a more comfortable life. This mundane family conflict echoes broader racial discussions: The desire to keep what one has versus the desire to build something new. As the play continues, the discussions of this family and the racial violence outside their home come crashing down around them.

As waves of protests continue in the current day under the banner of Black Lives Matter it is important to know that this has all happened before and will continue to happen until humanity can learn that we are all one.  I hope that this production is a step in that direction.  

Production Credits

  • Production Manager and Technical Director- Jay Morris
  • Vocal Coach- Robin Aronson
  • Stage Movement and Combat Consultant- Caitlyn Herzlinger
  • Producer- David Coley
  • Costume Shop Supervisor- Kelly James-Penot
  • Scene Shop Supervisor- Wes Hanson


Production Staff and Preparation Crews

  • Projection Designer and Technician – Hagan Harkins
  • Assistant Stage Managers –  Cyan Brandon
  • Vocal Captain – Makallen Kelley
  • Assistant Vocal Coach – Kevin Rains
  • Assistant Costume Designer – Jada Holmes
  • Props Supervisor – Aline Toloto
  • Props Crew – Vista Su
  • Deck Crew – Sarah Haddon
  • Live Stream Operators –  Bau Tran
  • Light Board Operator – Jaydan Cryer
  • Sound Board Operator – Kaisa Twilight
  • Wardrobe Supervisor –  Taylor Carpenter
  • Wardrobe Crew – Hayley Thibodeaux
  • Costume Maintenance – Seth Rodivich
  • Mural Artists – Calais Bates, Petron Brown, Ashton Chaney, De’Cayla Day, Sage Eubanks (photos),  Brietta Goodman, Aarion Johnson


Preparation Crews

Scene Shop

  • Supervisors: Wes Hanson, Jennifer Glass, Aline Toloto
  • Staff: De’Cayla Day, Zoi Hales, Taylor Stringfellow, Sequoia Whitfield, Samantha Endsley, Raegan Cantrelle, Rachel Boudreaux, Georgia Leming, Chris Russell, Chance Beck, Caroline Macon, Ananda Lee, Logan Maxwell

Prop Shop

  • Supervisor: Aline Toloto
  • Staff: Emily Rutland, Natalie Bowers, Kenneth Baker, Stephen Carpenter, Sarah Guidroz, Aarion Johnson, Marley Monahan, Kaisa Twilight, Bailey Graves, Ashton Chaney


  • Staff: R’Kedra Cummings, Vista Su, Bryana Jones, Aarion Johnson, Ashton Chaney, De’Cayla Day, Sequoia Whitfield, Caroline Macon, Marley Monahan, Jadalynne Riedel, Bailey Graves

Costume Shop

  • Supervisors: Kelly James-Penot, Taylor Busch, Rebecca Earehart, Madison Queen
  • Staff: Renee LaCourse, Gregory Weathersby, Haley Thibodeaux, Sarah Haddon, McKenna Fussell, Seth Rodivich, Taylor Carpenter, Rashad Crosby


  • Supervisors: Shelby Ashley, Andrew Bledsoe, Tristan King
  • Staff: Anna Pierce, D’Shea Sheriff, Kenneth Baker, Noah Brown, Max Marsh, Ariana Sanders, Samantha Endsley, Bau Tran

Box Office/Front of House

  • Supervisors: Petron Brown, Detalion Dixon, Camila Salas, Mark Swift
  • Staff: Sarah Guidroz, Ananda Lee, Natalie Bowers, Noah Brown, R’Kedra Cummings, Jadalynne Riedel, Erica Dickens


  • Supervisors: Mia Taylor, Blake Waters
  • Staff: Jessica Bradford, Stephen Carpenter, Emma Goodgion, Zoi Hales, Bryana Jones, Logan Maxwell, Faith Rolfes,

Faculty and Staff

Theatre Program

  • Robin Aronson- Professor of Voice and Acting
  • Theresa Bush- Assistant Professor of Costume Design
  • David Coley- Assistant Professor of Theatre, Producer
  • Craig Dettman- Associate Professor of Lighting and Sound Design
  • Wes Hanson- Scene Shop Supervisor
  • Monica Hayes- Professor of Acting, Head of Performance
  • Caitlyn Herzlinger- Assistant Professor of Movement and Acting
  • Leketha Hughes- Administrative Specialist
  • Kelly James-Penot- Costume Shop Supervisor; Adjunct Faculty, Costumes
  • Jay Morris- Assistant Professor, Production Manager, and Technical Director
  • Bryan Moses- Visiting Assistant Professor of Scenic Design
  • Louis Rackoff- Professor of Directing, Head of Directing
  • Sandra Whittington- Administrative Specialist


School of Performing and Visual Arts

  • Jennifer Courts- Interim Director


Partners for the Arts

This production was made possible in part by the generous support of PFTA!
Now, more than ever before, THANK YOU to our partners who are leveling up or bringing on a new member to sustain the tradition of excellence in the Arts at Southern Miss and ensure it continues beyond this unprecedented time.


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