Hilberry Actor to Premiere Autobiographical One-Man Show

The world-premiere production of Hands, written and performed by Wayne State University (WSU) Hilberry Theatre Company member Erman Jones, will be presented at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 1 and Monday, May 2.  Hands is an autobiographical one-man show that explores the miraculous and disastrous consequences of the choices we have a hand in making. Redefining our understanding of a brother’s legacy and a father’s responsibilities, Jones dramatizes the unique relationships that exist within his large Mormon family, set against the backdrop of a small, rural Idaho town.  Jones will perform Hands in the Maggie Allesee Dance Studio located on the third floor of Old Main on Wayne State University’s campus, before he tours Europe later this year.

As a member of the Hilberry Theatre Company, Erman Jones has played such roles as Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Professor John Halder in Good and Lenny in Of Mice and Men. In this culminating project of his MFA program, Jones elevates his Hilberry training to new heights as he weaves in and out of a host of characters who filled his life from childhood through adolescence. Billed as a “work in progress”, Hands has been created and devised in collaboration with WSU Department of Theatre faculty member Mary Elizabeth Anderson.

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In discussing what is unique about this project, Anderson says, “The distinction between conventional theatre and devised theatre is a distinction between ‘interpretive art’ and ‘generative art.’ Whereas conventional theatrical productions begin with a script, devised theatrical productions begin only with an idea or a concept. In devised theatre, production teams collaborate to generate an entirely new story, a new script, as well as all of the interpretive elements.”  She adds, “In this particular piece, [Erman Jones] has drawn on his own unique life circumstances to develop a dramatic production. This kind of autobiographical work is different from most of what we see on WSU stages.”  The audience is invited to stay after the 90-minute performance concludes for a post-show discussion to facilitate further development of the script.

The Maggie Allesee Studio Theatre is located on the third floor of Old Main in the northwest corner of the building; access to Old Main will be available via the Hancock Street entrance at 480 W. Hancock St., Suite 3317, Detroit, MI 48202. Admission to Hands is Free for everyone.  For more information, please call Erman Jones at (313) 377-3820.

About the Hilberry Theatre Company

The Hilberry Theatre Company is unique in that it is the nation’s only graduate theatre company staffed by young up-and-coming professionals that also runs on a rotating repertory schedule.  About forty graduate students are selected in national competition to receive assistantships to work in this theatre and study for advanced degrees.  Mr. Jones is one of those students.

Hands performance breakdown:

May 1 and 2, 2011

Sunday – 7 p.m.

Monday – 7 p.m.


One thought on “Hilberry Actor to Premiere Autobiographical One-Man Show

  1. Wish I could be there to lend my support but attending grandson’s college graduation this weekend! Erman has done such a fine job in all the plays he’s been in and I wish him all the best with this performance.

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