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With drama, dance, and poetry, The Magnolia Ballet, Part 1 explores the relationship between a Black man and his queer son.

Immersive Drama Gets A Detroit Premiere

Detroit Premiere of Original Script


June 9 – July 2, 2023

DETROIT, MI – Michigan’s award-winning professional Black theatre, Plowshares Theatre Company, presents the Detroit Premiere of The Magnolia Ballet by Terry Guest. The production, directed by Gary Anderson, will be performed at The Carr Center’s New Performance Studio, located inside the Park Shelton, 15 Kirby at Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202. Performances for this endearing coming-of-age tale begin Friday, June 9, and run through Sunday, July 2. Tickets will go on sale on April 17.

Ezekiel VI, or Z, is a Black teenager with a secret. He’s not like the other boys. The death of his mother has taken a toll on him and his emotionally distant father. Although they share the aching pain of a loss, they can’t talk about it. Worst yet, they both feel trapped in the rural Georgia swamp their family purchased generations ago. Z and his father struggle to define who they are among the spirit of ancestors living in the walls of their ancestral home.

Every day, Z finds himself haunted by the ghosts of old decisions made that have plagued his family for decades. This is a piece written for our times. With drama, dance, & poetry, The Magnolia Ballet explores the relationship between a Black man & his queer son.

The play contains mature content and language.

The Magnolia Ballet won a Rolling World Premiere from the National New Play Network. Other Partner theaters were Alleyway Theatre (New York), Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre (Indiana), and Williamston Theatre (Michigan). The Magnolia Ballet is a co-production with Williamston Theatre. It made its Michigan premiere at that theater in October of 2022.

A Night Dedicated to Black LGBT Community 

As part of the programming around producing The Magnolia Ballet, Plowshares will host a Black LGBT Out Night. Black LGBT Out Night is the purposeful creation of an environment where a Black LGBT-identifying audience can come together to experience and discuss the production in an inviting cultural space where they are the majority.

This special performance will be on Friday, June 23rd, with a post-show reception with the playwright, Terry Guest. Guest is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, director, and teaching artist.

Patrons can purchase a special $49 ticket, including admission to the show and reception. 

About the Playwright

Terry Guest is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, director, and teaching artist. Plays include: The Magnolia Ballet (2022 National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, 2 Jeff Awards, David Goldman Best New American Play), “A Ghost in Satin” (Williamstown Theater Festival), “Marie Antionette and the Magical Negroes” (4 Jeff Award nominations), “At The Wake of a Dead Drag Queen,” “The Madness of Mary Todd” (2020 Goodman Playwrights Unit), and “Andy Warhol Presents the Cocaine Play.”

About Plowshares

Plowshares Theatre Company is a not-for-profit, professional live theatre company dedicated to producing plays affirming, exhibiting, and inspiring African American life. The company began producing in 1990 and has received many awards and accolades.

Information on the 2023-24 Season shows is available online at www.plowsharestheatre.orgatling (313) 744-3181.


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