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Students take to the stage to tell the story of Flint arsons

UM-Flint students interviewed more than 50 residents about the arson fires.
Photo courtesy of the Project's facebook page
UM-Flint students interviewed more than 50 residents about the arson fires.

Students in Flint have written a new play inspired by the string of arson fires that plagued the city last year.

Students at the University of Michigan-Flint spent a good part of the this year interviewing victims of the arson fires that ripped through the city in 2010. The students then transcribed the interviews and strung them together to create a new play called EMBERS: The Flint Fires Verbatim Theatre Project.

Andrew Morton is a lecturer at U of M Flint and director of EMBERS. He says they kept the play to 90 minutes so there's time for everyone to talk about it afterward:

"I didn’t feel there was a lot of dialogue on a larger, community scale, and I’m a big advocate of using theatre as an opportunity to get people talking about issues that affect their community and also the world in larger sense."

Morton says they've "enlisted the help of several community activists and people who have a strong presence in that community" to help facilitate the dialogue at the end of the shows.

The play opens Friday, August 19 and runs through Saturday, September 10. The shows will be performed in various locations around the city, including neighborhoods hard hit by the arsons.

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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