Forgiving John Lennon, a Look at Tolerance and Muslim Identity, Will Get World Premiere in MI

News   Forgiving John Lennon, a Look at Tolerance and Muslim Identity, Will Get World Premiere in MI
Detroit Repertory Theatre will give William Missouri Downs' Forgiving John Lennon, the story of a Somali Muslim woman clashing with two American professors, its world premiere March 31-May 22 in Michigan.

Harry Wetzel directs the "timely and disconcertingly dark comedy [that] is about political correctness, racial and ethnic profiling and cultural confrontation." The cast includes Leah Smith as Katie, a professor; Benjamin Williams as Katie's professor-husband, Joseph; and Yolanda Jack as Asma, a Muslim poet. Samer Ajluni plays the Delivery Man. According to Detroit Rep notes, "In Forgiving John Lennon, a student at the radio station of a small liberal arts college, as a joke, informs all Muslim students they must wear identification markers. In the resulting backlash, two progressive professors set out to create a more 'Islam-friendly' campus atmosphere. When an invited Somali poet arrives the professors go out of their way to make her comfortable, but soon their desire for toleration is called into question. The Somali poet turns out to be a formidable cultural and religious challenge. The confrontation ends with a surprising and shocking conclusion."

William Missouri Downs, also known as Bill Downs, is originally from Bay City, MI, and earned his bachelor's degree at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. His MFA in acting is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his second MFA in screenwriting is from UCLA. He is a professor in the department of theatre and dance at the University of Wyoming. He has written 20 full-length plays, seen throughout the world.

For more information about Detroit Rep, Michigan's oldest Equity-affiliated company, call (313) 868-1347 or visit

Today’s Most Popular News: