Thursday, June 17, 2010

Detroit’s buried ghost waters revisited

Buried waterways still flow under the busy traffic grid of what is now downtown Detroit, and Matrix Theatre Company brings one back to the surface on June 25 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. as it presents the River Resurgence Pageant as part of the U.S. Social Forum. The pageant includes a parade with more than 100 participants who will follow the old Savoyard River’s path; and street theatre enactments help depict the past, present and future of Detroit’s rich ecosystem. To learn more about the project, or to find out how to participate in this exciting event, call the Theatre at 313-967-0999.

The pageant’s dancers, actors and puppets will stroll along the Detroit River’s waterfront carrying puppets representing fish, frogs and fowl unique to this region. Dancing and singing their way along the streets of Detroit, they will depict the ebb and flow of the River. A collaboratively-created monster dragon portraying the evils of pollution will join the group as it slithers its way along the route. Special performances will depict the coming of European settlers and the River’s eventual transformation into a sewer running below the city’s streets, where it remains today. The skits end on a high note showing a bright future for Detroit and its residents who live among the world’s most abundant fresh water supply.

The River Resurgence Pageant is part of Ghost Waters, a three-year project designed to re-imagine the rivers, marshes and ponds buried beneath downtown Detroit’s urban structures such as Cobo Hall, Comerica Park and Michigan Central Train Depot. Funded in part by The Erb Family Foundation, The Kresge Community Arts Foundation, and The Skillman Foundation, the project allows participants to learn about Detroit’s water history by engaging in specially-designed field trips, workshops and communal education activities. From these are created artistic stories, student showcases, workshops, street art and theatre pageants highlighting not only Detroit’s water history, but the importance of recycling, water-consciousness, water’s relevance to sustainability and the right of every human being to have access to clean running water.

Those interested in joining the near 100-person team that will make up the puppet river, its caretakers, inhabitants and buriers, contact Matrix Volunteer Coordinator Ken Srdjak at 313-967-0999,, or show up at Cobo Hall at 9:30 a.m. on June 25, 2010. Wear blue is you can! 

Matrix Theatre Company is a non-profit community-based theatre located in Southwest Detroit. Established in 1991, Matrix creates everything from scratch, from puppets of all sizes to over 90 original plays. Matrix Theatre Company uses the transformative power of theatre to change lives, build community and foster social justice. It creates opportunities for children, youth, adults and elders, especially those in isolated or challenged communities, to become creators, producers and audiences of original theatre. For further information or to follow Matrix on Facebook, Twitter and Blogger, go to


What: Event: River Resurgence Pageant
Synopsis: The Savoyard River rises again with a parade of more than 100 people. The event is part of GhostWaters and U.S. Social Forum.

Where: Address: Downtown Detroit
Begins in front of Cobo Hall at the River
Tickets: Free and open to the public

When: June 25, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

No comments:

Post a Comment