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Friday Phone Call # 42

Richard Newman of The Hinterlands Ensemble, Detroit

Liza Bielby and Richard Newman standing outside their theater.
Bielby and Newman, outside the Play House.

Today I talk with Richard Newman, co-director with Liza Bielby of The Hinterlands Ensemble in Detroit. One of the things I love about this series is how it gives a mic to different ideas, aesthetic and geographic communities, and aspects of local and national infrastructure. This call goes in all of those directions and more. Richard was willing to talk to me at a very early hour, and I love the careful, considered way he connects his specific answers to my bigger picture questions. There has always been something unsettling to me about the broader brush with which the "creative class" conversation often paints. And my own generalized sense of what it means to speak of artists' impact on Detroit. Richard paints in micro-brush strokes—the specifics of his actual experience, and his actual neighborhood, and his actual company. It starts to create important detail and nuance to something many of us have no direct experience with but assume we understand.


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Thoughts from the curator

The story of Detroit is the story of our country. It chronicles the rise of industry and “world-class cities,” and also of class and racial oppression, leading to decline and ultimately, resurgence. This series takes a look at Detroit's thriving theatre scene.

Detroit, Michigan


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As post script to the call. The performance was great! An array of performances, styles and spaces--ending at a skateboard park with a marching band!

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