When I eat a bagel I like to take things slowly. Sometimes I want cream cheese, other days, I don’t. Sometimes I want it toasted, other days I don’t. Sometimes I even want a sweet cinnamon swirl bagel, other days I (you guessed it!)…want a plain one. The main question here is: Are all bagels edible? Are they literal pieces of food consumed with coffe or yogurt, OR, can they be used in different contexts, still consumed just in a different aspect?
Considering this wednesday word, I could go the all natural route and tell you all about the ever-so popularly discreet Free Bagel Wednesday at the Alumni Center. But I digress. I’ll instead tell you about my faboulous Saturday evening at UMMA (U of M Musuem of Art).
Spriit of Detroit was performed by the students of RCHums 390 in which Kate Mendeloff was the director. This play, similar to my consumtion of a bagel, took many routes. Instead of me stuffing my face with information, I chose to take this bagel slow, chew every piece, and swallow with a taste of hope in my mouth, awaiting another chunck. A handful of directors and designers took the responsibility of the play and with tremendous help from the students, the play consisted over a 2-day period (beginning Saturday, March 23-Sunday, March 24).
Taking place in the late 50’s to more recent 2007, Sprit of Detroit followed experiences by two childhood friends, Anthony and Lucy. Being seperated as children because of their race, fate placed them side by side during the 1967 riots in Detroit, Michigan. The play goes through life changes between both character’s childhood, future, and present times. They were both put through a lot of emotional and physical stress during this time in their lives, but managed to come together and make sure each other was safe and sound towards the end of the riots.
Though this play is far from over due to the lingering emotions and knowledge learned through its viewing, it is still very beneficial to understand. Before Saturday, I’d give tours about a building on campus (Fleming Administration) that was riot-proof because of the politically active era of the 1960’s. I never knew or even thought that this reason was because of a specific riot here in Michigan. To my surprise, the 12th Street Riot and the Algiers Motel Incident seem to be two prominent riots and civil disrurbances back in 1967. The riot lasted for 5 days caused by a police raid in an after-hours, unlicensed bar. 43 deaths, over 400 injuries, and approximately 7,000 arrestes occured because of this outburst. One of the most interesting parts of this whole ordeal is that my great-grandmother has lived on 12th street and Virginia Park for more than 50 years. (I wonder if she was around during the riots because THAT would be something to write about).
This play took not only an inspirational note, but a historical, metaphorical, and spritual note as well. Sometimes that’s what a bagel will do to you, it’ll start with one purpose, and finish with another.