The Underground

The Incubator for Emerging Artists

The Underground productions allow aspiring artists to discover, create, and present their theatre and dance visions. The series offers an array of stories and experiences. Audiences will emerge enlightened and entertained.

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For accessibly information for The Underground Theatre at the Hilberry, please call the box office at 313-577-2972.

Summer 2022

a man and woman relax on a couch
June 24-30, 2022

Burn This - by Lanford Wilson

June 24-30, 2022

Underground Theatre at the Hilberry

View program

"Burn This" is an unleashed force that is plied most artfully to create a portrait of how grief unhinges, disarranges, and heightens everyday life. The place is a Manhattan loft shared by Anna, a young dancer, and her two gay roommates — her collaborator Robby, who has just been killed in a boating accident, and Larry, a caustically funny advertising executive. As we begin, Anna is recovering from attending Robby's funeral, comforted by her well-meaning boyfriend, Burton, a screenwriter whose persistent proposals of marriage Anna finds herself unable to accept. With sudden, unexpected explosiveness, Robby's older brother Pale bursts onto the scene to collect Robby's belongings — but stays on to transform the action of the play and the lives of those in it. Menacing, profane, dangerous, and yet oddly sensitive, Pale is both terrifying and fascinating and, in the end, it is his echoing pain that brings the quartet together, attempting to make sense of their lives and reconsider their own identities and relationships. "Burn This" self-destructs even as it unfolds; a simple story about two lost souls in a powerful and passionate dance of denial proving that the brightest fires burn from within.

COVID-19 Policies: ALL VISITORS must present a completed Wayne State Guest Daily Screener at Door for Admittance. All Visitors must be masked indoors. For the WSU Guest Daily Screener please visit https://go.wayne.edu/guest 


Performance schedule

  • 8 p.m. Friday, June 24
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, June 25
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, June 25
  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 29
  • 7 p.m. Thursday, June 30

Tickets available at the door (cash only).


2022-2023 Season

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November 4-5, 2022

The End of a Society - by LaRaisha Dionne

November 4-5, 2022

Allesee Dance Theatre

The End of a Society by LaRaisha Dionne is an Afro-futuristic adventure that blends the culture and mythologies of Yoruba, Egypt, and Black America while calling upon the poetry of Alice Dunbar Nelson and William Shakespeare. After a successful reading with Shakespeare in Detroit in the Summer of 2021, this world premiere at the Underground will tell the story of a group of Black women in the final days of human existence, and their fantastical journey back to the motherland to determine the fate of the world.

Performance schedule

  • 8 p.m. Friday, November 4
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, November 5
  • 8 p.m. Friday, November 5

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November 18-19, 2022

The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet - by Ron West and Phil Swann

November 18-19, 2022

Underground Theatre at the Hilberry

The People Vs. Friar Laurence, The Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet is a musical comedy telling the story of Romeo and Juliet from a new perspective. By Ron West and Phil Swann, the story shows Friar Laurence behind bars, and charged for the 'murder' of the two young lovers. As the trial progresses mayhem and silliness abound with laugh out loud bits, catchy songs, and scenes equal parts Vaudeville and Bard.

Performance schedule

  • 8 p.m. Friday, November 18
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, November 19
  • 8 p.m. Friday, November 19

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February 3-4, 2023

The Yellow Wallpaper - Adapted by Lindsey Sigler from the novel by Charlotte Perkins Gilman novel

February 3-4, 2023

Underground Theatre at the Hilberry

The Yellow Wallpaper adapted from Charlotte Perkins Gilman's novel from 1892 is the story of a woman whose husband diagnoses her with a "temporary nervous depression" after the birth of their child.  They spend their time in a summer home where the woman is confined to the nursery upstairs which is covered in yellow wallpaper that causes her to slip deeper into hysteria.

Performance schedule

  • 8 p.m. Friday, February 3
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, February 4
  • 8 p.m. Friday, February 4

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April 14-15, 2023

She Kills Monsters - by Qui Nguyen

April 14-15, 2023

Allesee Dance Theatre

She Kills Monsters tells the story of a young woman embarking on a fantastical Dungeons and Dragons adventure in pursuit of understanding her late younger sister.  Set in 1995, this story goes back and forth between the real world and the world of D&D. She Kills Monsters is a one act comedic adventure/drama that addresses themes of familial bonds, LGBTQ+ issues, and the struggles of being an outcast.

Performance schedule

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 14
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, April 15
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 15

 

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