Come My Beloved, a new play about race, intimacy, and Detroit | Michigan Radio
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Come My Beloved, a new play about race, intimacy, and Detroit

Dec 15, 2017

On Sunday, there will be a staged reading of a new play called Come My Beloved. It's described as being about race, intimacy, and Detroit.

The play chronicles a Friday night in the lives of three black and Jewish couples at different points in time.

The playwright and director is Emma Weinstein, and she joined Stateside today.

Listen to the full conversation above, or read highlights below.

On how Weinstein approaches race and faith in this work

“I started by looking closely at myself and my family. All of the three couples are based on real relationships.

"So, I start by going really personal and making sure that what stories I’m telling are true to life and true to the people who lived them. I also tend to look at the history and make sure that my lens is one that reflects the greater arc of history and the present state that we’re in right now.

"And I try to go towards the difficult rather than away from it, because I think audiences are hungry for real conversation around these topics. We can only do that by really diving into them."

On why she wrote about the intersection of Jewish and African American lives in Detroit

“It started, actually, with this story … about the woman that my little sister is named after.... And she in 1932, in Detroit, married a black Christian man and they were both communists.

"And I sort of marveled at the fact that this relationship existed in the early '30s and I did a lot of research on where the black and Jewish communities lived and what their lives were like in the '30s. And I thought it was really fascinating how, often, separate these two communities are now.

"And so I wanted to look at what happened in American history to lead us to where we are now. And Detroit is a place where my family is from and it also seemed like a perfect place to look at this question of, 'Where have these two communities ended up in the last 80 years.”

The staged reading of Come My Beloved will be performed on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Bethel Community Transformation Center in Detroit. Click here for more information.

For a conversation about the relationship between Jews and African Americans in Detroit, listen here.

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