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Screening: ‘Some Old Black Man’

Watch our post-premiere discussion with the cast and creative team.

Enjoy our reprise of Some Old Black Man, streaming Mar 1-12!

Note: this production includes instances of strong language and descriptions of racial violence.

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Behind the Scenes

Learn more about the creation of Some Old Black Man from our premiere event pre-show, hosted by UMS’s Matthew VanBesien and Cayenne Harris. Watch interviews with the cast and creative team, tour the set in Detroit’s Jam Handy, and hear from special guests including University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

About the Production

In Some Old Black Man, Calvin Jones (Wendell Pierce), a hip, coolly intellectual African-American college professor, moves his 82-year-old ailing but doggedly independent father, Donald Jones (Charlie Robinson), from Greenwald, Mississippi into his Harlem penthouse.

The play begins with an argument over what to eat for breakfast, then turns into a generational clash over race, opportunity, and a decision that Calvin made years ago. Donald’s grumpiness is peppered with disturbing outbursts, revealing bits of his past, informed by growing up Black and poor in the South. Donald is wary that he isn’t seen by his gifted, accomplished son as being good enough, and Calvin resents Donald as being a self-righteous, relentlessly tough parent. Father-son strife escalates when their generational conflict is lensed through civil rights. Some Old Black Man frames racial prejudice with a bold probity rarely confronted and dramatized.

Thank you to our supporters

Lead Presenting Sponsors

Tim and Sally Petersen

Michigan Engineering

Presenting Sponsors

DTE Foundation
Newmarket LLC

Patron Sponsor

Jerry and Dale Kolins Endowment Fund

Funded in part by

UMS Sustaining Directors

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan