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UToledo to Stage Play Inspired by Jena Six Case, Examines Systemic Racial Injustice

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film is presenting Dominique Morisseau’s powerful drama “Blood at the Root” April 13-23 at the UToledo Center for Performing Arts.

The play, which was first commissioned for the 2014 graduate acting class at Penn State University, is inspired by events in 2006 in Louisiana surrounding the “Jena Six,” six Black teenagers convicted in the beating of a white student in Jena, La., during a period of high tension after three nooses had been hung from a tree on their high school’s property.

The production incorporates music and dance in an examination of institutionalized racism at an American high school.

“Like all great stories, ‘Blood At The Root’ is a blend of Blacks, whites and innumerable shades of grey,” said Carlos Washington, director of UToledo’s production and UToledo alumnus who graduated in 2021. “Our version is full of stomps, claps and active protest. Audience participation is encouraged. The production is inspirational, thought-provoking and fiercely theatrical.”

Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows are at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10-$20 each and can be purchased online through the Department of Theatre and Film’s ticket website or at the box office before the performance.

Except for the Sunday performances, visitor parking requires payment. Visit to purchase a parking permit or use the ParkMobile app to pay for hourly parking.

For complete production credits, visit the Department of Theatre and Film website.

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