On-stage drama will feature the trials and tribulations of Flint

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(Chelsea) (10/12/17) This winter Flint will be in the spotlight, literally. The city will be featured in a Jeff Daniels play. It's a play examining how lives have been affected by the changes Flint has endured.

Actor and musician Jeff Daniels was moved by all that Flint has gone through in the past 30 years, including the water emergency. so, he wrote a play about it. The drama will be centered on two couples who live in Flint and used to work on the assembly line.

"It's a very beautiful story. I know it sounds depressing but it's not. I think it's a hopeful story," said Guy Sanville, Purple Rose Theater artistic director.

The play will be performed at the Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea, which is west of Ann Arbor. Jeff Daniels did his research on Flint and GM's cutbacks that started in the 80s.

"I think he was inspired to take a look at some of the causes behind that," said Sanville.
Two people with Flint connections will be part of the production. Rhiannon Ragland, one of the actors, was born and raised in Flint. Costume Designer Shelby Newport works at UM-Flint. While the play has some serious dialog, Daniels included some moments of laughter.

"I think it's going to be a wonderful, hard hitting drama with definitely some humor thrown in," said Katie Hubbard of The Purple Rose Theater Company.

"I think it's something that a lot of people are going to be moved by and are going to want to see," Sanville said.

The Purple Rose Theater seats 160 and the audience is very close to the stage. Daniels wants people to have a better understanding of what it means when the economic base of a community crumbles and the city falls into a financial crisis.

"It can get people talking, get people think a little differently. That's what good theater can do," said Sanville.

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