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Posted on Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

Interracial marriage explored in EMU production, 'Wedding Band'

By Jenn McKee


Stephen Lambert and Amanda Brewer star in EMU's production of "Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White."

Photo courtesy of EMU Theatre

The Eastern Michigan University theatre department is in the midst of presenting Alice Childress’ “Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White.” Upcoming performances - at the EMU campus’ Sponberg Theatre, in the Quirk Dramatic Arts Building at East Circle Dr. and Best Hall - are scheduled for April 11 at 10 p.m.; April 12 and 13 at 7 p.m.; and April 14 at 2 p.m.

EMU history professor Walter G. Moss recently published, via, a review of the production that also provides historical context for the show.

The press release for "Wedding Band" provides further information about the show.

Against the backdrop of 1918 South Carolina, two people in love yearn to be together as husband and wife but are held apart by society’s mores and laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Unable to escape to the north where they can marry, Julia, an African American seamstress and Herman, a Jewish baker, are forced to attempt to keep their long-standing love affair a secret. Facing dire consequences from their community, even Herman’s own family, Julia and Herman suffer heartbreak as the world around them threatens to destroy their relationship and everything they hold dear. Alice Childress’s stirring and thought-provoking piece moves and inspires while confronting the harsh reality of racism.

Written in the early 1960’s, Wedding Band... was first produced at the University of Michigan in 1966. Many professional theatres refused to produce it at the time due to the controversial subject matter. A televised version of this tragic and beautiful story, broadcast by ABC television in 1973, resulted in several ABC affiliates refusing to carry the production. As impactful today as in its debut decades ago, “Wedding Band” is directed by Wallace Bridges. … This production is recommended for mature audiences.

Ticket prices for “Wedding Band” $15 regular admission, $12 for students and seniors, $9 for MAINSTAGE patrons, no further discounts apply. Tickets are available by phone at 734-487-2282 and in person at the Convocation Center, the Student Center ticket office or the Quirk Box Office. To purchase tickets online visit: Please note: There is an additional service charge for tickets purchased online or by phone. For more information about EMU Theatre, our season, and directions to our theatres visit or, fan us on Facebook: Eastern Michigan University Theatre or follow us on Twitter: emutheatre.

Jenn McKee is the entertainment digital journalist for Reach her at or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.



Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

I am sure in 40 years society will be watching theater with the 'edgy' theme of gay marriage and the younger generation will be looking on with boring disbelief that society could have been so narrow minded, prejudice and in my opinion .....less than 'christian'. The wheels of justice and equality turn, albeit too often exceedingly slowly.


Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

Interracial marriage... edgy edgy stuff. What a brave decision from all of you. Ha ha ha

Tim Hornton

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 2:33 a.m.

Good point jessica! You forgot to mention that UM still wants to allow admission based on skin color and is fighting in the courts to disallow more qualified people from going to UM because their skin color is white. Interesting too is that the country just voted in a second term president who has a black dad and white mom. So intolerant.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 2:29 a.m.

We've come so far since this was written that some see the idea of anybody objecting to interracial marriages as absurd. Unfortunately, there are still others living in the dark ages.

Jessica Webster

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 : 7:02 p.m.

I think it's worth noting that it wasn't until 2000 that Alabama finally struck down its miscegenation laws, and that 40% of Alabamans voted to keep them in place. This isn't ancient history.