Arts & More

Arts & More airs Fridays at 7:50 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.

Theme music: "Like A Beginner Again" by Dan Barry of Seas of Jupiter

Art made for the theatre performance
Face Off Theatre

If you distilled the experiences of African Americans into an hour and 45 minutes, it might look something like “Ships, Shells, and Chains.” The play by Kalamazoo’s Kendra Ann Flournoy is a series of vignettes that follows a fictional family tree from a village in Africa all the way up to the present day in the United States.

Brandon Burnett and Janai Travis rehearse "Flood Gates" for the Kalamazoo Black Lives, Black Words event
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

“Do black lives matter?” That’s the prompt that award-winning playwright and activist Reginald Edmund uses in the Black Lives, Black Words project. It’s a multi-city performance with theatre, poetry, and music about the black experience. On Sunday, February 18th, Western Michigan University and Face Off Theatre will put on Kalamazoo’s show. 

A boy stands in front of the Loews theater in Harlem, New York
Dawoud Bey

Photographer and MacArthur Fellow Dawoud Bey has a connection with Harlem, New York. His parents met there, he spent a lot of time there as a kid, and even though he’s lived in Chicago for the past 20 years — he still comes back to visit. But within those two decades, Bey has watched the neighborhood change. He says the culture that made Harlem, Harlem has started to disappear. 

Associate pastor Joshua (Fox Worth) and Pastor Paul (Scott Crownover) in Farmers Alley Theatre's production of "The Christians." Both Worth and Crownover are pastors themselves.
Katherine Mumma

What happens when someone questions your beliefs? The award-winning play “The Christians” by Lucas Hnath explores this. Friday is opening night for the Farmers Alley Theatre production in Kalamazoo. It runs through February 18th at WMU's Little Theatre.

WMU students Myles Schwartz and Asia Marie Hicks
John Lacko

“Angels in America” — a play that centers around the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s — is gaining new attention today. In honor of its 25th anniversary, an all-star cast is performing it on Broadway — including actors Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield. This month Western Michigan University is also putting on the show.