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Digital Residency: Wendell Pierce

Actor Wendell Pierce will explore social justice, anti-racism and the Black canon of performance work.

Some Old Black Man

Among the most ambitious of Pierce’s projects is production, filming, and release of a digital presentation of the recent American play Some Old Black Man by James Anthony Tyler, which explores race in America through the lens of interpersonal and intergenerational relationships.

Thank you for making our premiere screening of #SomeOldBlackMan an incredible success! The streaming period has now ended, and we are working on broader distribution.

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Behind-The-Scenes Production


5 Things to Know About ‘Some Old Black Man’

Learn more about our digital theater production, and register to watch our encore screening Mar 1-14.



Post-Premiere Discussion with the SOBM Cast & Creative Team

UMS's Mark Jacobson hosted a live conversation with the cast and creative team of Some Old Black Men.



Safety First: The Making of ‘Some Old Black Man’

From creating a safety plan, to a positive COVID test, to filming at The Jam Handy in Detroit, this is the story of UMS’s production of Some Old Black Man.



Set Tour of ‘Some Old Black Man’

Scenic designer Justin Lang gives a brief tour of the Some Old Black Man set in Detroit’s Jam Handy. For three weeks in Fall 2020, the creative team for this digital theater...



Producing Theater in a Pandemic

Enjoy a brief, behind-the-scenes look into our digital production of James Anthony Tyler's Some Old Black Man, starring Wendell Pierce and Charlie Robinson.



Wendell Pierce on the Role of Art

Actor and UMS Digital Residency Artist Wendell Pierce discusses the role of art in our lives — particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Residency Support

Lead Presenting Sponsors

Tim and Sally Petersen

Presenting Sponsors

Newmarket LLC

Supporting Sponsors
Julia Darlow and John O’Meara
Anne and Paul Glendon
Norman and Debbie Herbert

Patron Sponsors
Stephen and Rosamund Forrest
Beverley and Gerson Geltner
Susan and Richard Gutow
James and Nancy Stanley

Funded in part by
UMS Sustaining Directors

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

About the Artist

Wendell Pierce is a television and film actor who grew up in New Orleans before attending The Juilliard School for drama. He has appeared in over 30 films and 50 television shows, as well as dozens of stage productions. As a television actor, he became known for his roles as Bunk Moreland in The Wire and trombonist Antoine Batiste in Treme, as well as portraying James Greer in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. He had roles in the films Malcolm X, Selma, and Ray. In 2019 performed the lead role of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman on London’s West End, a role for which he received a nomination for the Olivier Award for Best Actor. Pierce will make his UMS debut with this residency.

“For me, the role of Art is to ignite the public discourse. Art is where we come together as a community to confront who we are as a society, to decide what our values are, and then to act on them.”

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Meet the full Digital Artist Residency cohort:

Wendell Pierce | Tarek Yamani & Spektral Quartet | Tunde Olaniran | Cleo Parker Robinson | Brian Lobel & Friends | Joyce DiDonato