Congratulations to all!


Good jobs!! Yi-Hsin

Please Join us at this unique Community Performance Event &
Help us spread the word!



Graduate and undergraduate students from EMU’s Communication, Media and Theatre Arts Department have teamed up with the YYEA: Crosstown Theatre Troupe, a local youth theatre troupe exploring youth voice through theatre, to create a Community Performance about Ypsilanti and for the people of Ypsilanti. Those persons interviewed in creation of the project include residents from across Ypsilanti including Parkridge, Willow Run, West Willow, Ypsi’s South Side, Ypsi’s North Side, Downtown Ypsi, Depot town and EMU, community stakeholders, local business owners, youth who live and/or go to school in Ypsilanti, students commute to EMU’s campus, and many more.

The goal of this project, titled the Community Performance with EMU (CPE), is to use performance as a means of generating community dialogue on issues relevant and pressing to the Ypsilanti community at large. The Community Performance with EMU (CPE) is a city-wide performance project focusing on some of the most pressing issues in Ypsilanti. This theatre piece is based on a series of interviews and story circle sessions with the Ypsilanti community. The findings from these speak outs have become the basis of the production which intends to both empower and inform the citizens on issues most important to them. CPE is directed by local professor, theatre artist, and Ypsilanti Resident Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander.

  • WHERE: Parkridge Community Center (591 Armstrong, Ypsilanti, MI)
  • WHEN: Tuesday, April 21 at 5:00 and 7:00 pm
  • RUNNING TIME: Approximately one hour including a talk back/dialogue session
  • TICKETS: Free!! No reservations are required.
  • PARKING: Parking at the Parkridge Community Center is free of charge for this event.

For additional information on CPE contact Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander at jalexande1@emich.edu, 734-487-6570; Meriah Sage at msage@emich.edu, 734-487-6570 or Yi Hsin Lu at ylu2@emich.edu 734-487-6570.

Map of Location of Parkridge Community Center:



Here is a rough outline, merging as many ideas together as possible. At the second collective we had: Big Fire, Michael, Emily, Kirk, Patrick, Venus (and JoJo) and Spencer.

Shifts & Fluctuations

This is a piece about movement: the ins and outs of a city.  There will always be movement on stage –people moving in and out, staying , arriving, departing… cinematic.

That is the story here …or a story…a city of movement …hence the water metaphor. Read on, comment and critique. We will have a working draft for Tuesday. PLEASE READ the section on notes -below.

Boat/Boy Part I.  –boat follows

Part II. Everyone begins to arrives on stage from different directions –center up

(enact migrations …) VIDEO – perspective-

‘streaming by. All enter.. move differently /different directions yet it’s orchestral and choral- a cacophony of movement and sound.

Mayor –diversity story…piece (group shifts)

Fluctuations & Shifts

white people stay/ — Mrs. Chun piece

Hailey Skating Story— NEEDS to be crafted

Fluctuations & Shifts


Fluctuations & Shifts –waiting

Bus Stories …–access /transience… transportation

Roller rink —there is no place..no center.. .no  (watching the EMU students arrive and leave—the loss of the only place where the youth could envision ‘moving’)

Fluctuations & Shifts

Student voice –come here …

International Voices

Big Fire/Trapped

Tortoise and the Hare ?

Fluctuations & Shifts


Peter- Store Owner

Mayor –return…?

Boat Part III.


Need: Reverend interview and Peter interview transcribed.

NOTES: Need more non-realism/story based like the Tortoise & Hare piece

Commercials/PSA’s …?

SHOULD THERE BE A COMMENTARY/EDITORIAL COMMENTS Throughout – another convention….IDEAS?  What would make sense in this piece….in this community? A traffic cop?

SHOULD paper boat be in all scenes?

Hi all

We had a very good showing for today’s first writing collective meeting: Kirk, Emily, Spencer, Michael, Joanna and Patrick. We met a little head way in that we began working to find connections /commonalities among the desired/suggested pieces  and scenes. We addressed issues in form and content including the inclusion of personal narrative performance and performing /narrating self pieces. 

We have a metaphor and it goes back to the geographical truth of Ypsilanti and the Huron River -which is if you put a paper boat in the river it will eventually makes its way to the Atlantic.  There is a way in and out of Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti reaches the world…and the world reaches in….

Given that –pieces which reflect…trapped/transience and migration seem to to work most -they also make up the bulk of the ideas. 

We are working to come up with an outline and structure —still..

NEED from you:

any memorable lines/phrases–something that stuck with you even from our first landscapes.   POST THOSE ASAP. 

MESSAGES: we choose to come here–is a very clear message. Please post what you believe to be the most important messages and/or questions we should address.

Questions for international voices will be posted on Friday.


Foremost continue the discussion on the other post. I’m trying to attach so I had to start a new strand. READ BELOW VERY IMPORTANT. I have, based upon discussions, panel, posts, collages, creations –organized our project into three THEME AREAS. We still are a little bit spread out -but I think we can narrow from the three theme areas–taking a little bit from each one or focusing on one or blending two of them….

Purpose: To share the voices of the many voices


Trapped/Stuck   and Transience

· Youth voice/youth engagement –nothing to do

· The highest trafficked part of Ypsilanti is EMU

· A train depot with a train that doesn’t stop

· Bus lines, etc. which leave residents without access or opportunity

· Digital Divide

· Lots of one-way streets and no left turns

Foundations & Incarnations

· brick buildings/strong yet empty  ‘dusty book’

· A city divided: 2 downtowns

· Migrations & Rooted Generations

· Pride in self/family vs. pride in city

· Bridges and Walls

· Racial Divide

Perceptions & Reputations (internal & external)

· Gateway to ___________

· Good enuf for who it is for

· Underdog

· A city with less light

· A city in the shadow

· Nobodiness

· Emerging

WHAT I DID HERE IS TAKE THE THEMES AND CONNECT THEM TO THE ‘WHO’ the possible PEOPLE. I think #1 is our strongest theme and we could merge it with …”EMERGING and ROOTS and MIGRATIONS  and also with the idea of a city founded due to a migratory population”  I think there is a story emerging here and it will both reflect issues of pride and issues of displacement’, transience and feeling stuck and trapped, and looking at Ypsi’s birth as a trading post a place where people came to engage. PLEASE PROVIDE FOR TUESDAY –what you think the STORY of this project may be.

The people/the voices

  1. Youth voice/youth engagement- nothing to do

Ozone Youth Action Board – Colleen O’Brien

Focus group at Ypsi High/Willow Run or Lincoln

School Board or school board member: Ypsi/Willow Run/Lincoln (gather a representative from each)

Youth on the street-Michigan Avenue

Homeless youth and foster youth coalitions: Robert Kesserling & Peri Stone Palmquist

Mayor Paul Schreiber  mayor@cityofypsilanti.com

  1. Most Trafficked part of Ypsilanti is EMU

Washtenaw County Road Commission

Mayor of Ypsilanti / City Council/ City Manager – Ed Kor

EMU Commuter Student Organization

  1. Train Depot with Train that doesn’t stop

Depot Town group: www.depottown.org/

State of MI policy coordinator on Transportation: Jeff Donofrio

Resident voices

  1. Bus lines and lack of transportation /access

Residents –youth, elder, multiple voices

interview residents in Lincoln and West Willow Neighborhood Associations

Ypsi Transit Center – Pearl and Washington, interview  riders

AATA –chair , David Nacht

NOTE: The future of Ypsilanti bus service by the AATA is in doubt because of budget constraints. The current budget plan involves cutting AATA Route 3 and AATA Route 5 to Ypsilanti by 2007 and all routes by 2009. The organization Keep Ypsi Rollin has proposed a change to the Ypsilanti city charter that would continue service.


5.    Digital Divide

Digital Inclusion: Derrick Jackson/ Izoom

Ypsi Wireless-Steve Pierce


Business Owners

Foundations  & Incarnations

1.    Brick buildings /empty/ dusty books


Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority

Brian Vosburg brian@ypsilantidda.org

Peter Rinehart, board chair, owner of Bombadills Coffeehouse

Mayor, of Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation  http://www.yhf.org/

Ypsilanti Historic Commission –meets Feb. 24th 2009

2.    A City Divided

James Mann, local historian, storyteller james.manjam@gmail.com.

Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation http://www.yhf.org

3.    Roots and Migrations

Neighborhood Associations: www.ypsicopac.org/sites.html


Faz Hussain, first musim elected to office in MI

(Ypsilanti City Councl)

Ypsilanti Underground Railroad: www.albion.edu/library/JAT/Ypsilanti.htm

Brown AME Church www.bcamecy.org/ — oldest African American church in Ypsilanti

Applacian familes settled near Willow Run Airpot

Bomber Café  and Wolverine Café

Senior Centers: Ypsilanti City Senior Center (734) 483-5014

  1. Racial divide/ bridges and walls

seek the stories of contrasting groups or people  or neighbors who live side by side in any neighborhood.

Parkridge Community Center

Ozone Drop In Center

Riverside Arts Center Board

Perceptions and Reputations

For this section its important to the hear stories of the following people/persons:
Youth who go to school here /live here

Elected officials

Neighborhood Comm. Groups /Associations

Third Shifters


Ypsilanti Housing Commission

Residents of Gateway Housing Community

Those waiting in line for: a meal, unemployment, shelter, medical care

Check out: Hope, SOS Community Services, Paquetta Palmer at WCounty

Emergers: Mark Maynard –www.markmaynard. com

ShadowArts Festival

(can set up meeting)

Growing Hope Amanda

DDA – Peter Rinehart

Spark East – Eastern Leaders

Shemar Moore

Brown Chapel AME

Community Activists

Tad Wysor

Mark Maynard

Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce

Stop by: Wolverine Inn, Sidetrack, Bomber Café, Lucas Coney Island Bombadills Coffehouse, Ypsi Library, Haabs, Beezys (brand new)

On February 3rd we briefly talked about who we should interview in and out of the Ypsilanti community.  Who are the specific people or voices should we speak to before forming our performance.

Feb. 3rd