Happy Black History Month! We’re back again here on the EXCEL Log for a Black artistry feature. In case you haven’t read our previous post, this month at the EXCEL Log we’re highlighting Black music, theatre, and dance. It’s important to celebrate Black artistry every month, but during Black history month, we can intentionally broaden our horizons and focus on creating tangible efforts to amplify Black voices. This week we will be featuring Cortez Hill. He is a 3rd-year Business Administration and Theatre Arts student, an EXCEL Enterprise fund recipient, and the producer of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds her Chameleon Skin, a musical by Kirsten Childs that will be performed at the Arthur Miller Theatre on February 24th and 25th.
Mattie Levy: What was the inspiration behind producing Bubbly Black Girl?
Cortez Hill: Our Music Director, Caleb Middleton (SMTD ’24), and I were introduced to this work by Musical Theatre Department Chair, Michael McElroy. We were instantly drawn to this amazing piece of work written by Kirsten Childs and wanted to bring it to the U-M community. The piece addresses serious issues but also talks about them in a hilarious way that I think really appeals to the humor of our current generation and population at the University of Michigan. Kirsten’s creative mind and unique musical talents are not like anything I have ever seen before in a production on campus, and I am excited to introduce this musical to the community.
Mattie Levy: What do you think audiences will get from the experience of watching the show?
Cortez Hill: I hope the audience will learn so much from the story about a unique experience of a Black woman that is not often represented in other works, even other works that are also written by Black artists about Black communities. Still, Bubbly Black Girl really has something for everyone – all identities – to relate to. Additionally, we have so many incredible artists from various disciplines involved in this production. Our actors, designers, and creative teams have dedicated so much time towards bringing the story to life and I’m so thrilled for our audience to see their amazing work!
Mattie Levy: Anything else you would like to share?
Cortez Hill: Starting this project involved introducing it to various students and organizations on campus. I’m so happy and grateful for the amount of support we receive from the U-M community to put this show on the stage!
Thanks for tuning into the EXCEL log! Mark your calendars and go see The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds her Chameleon Skin at Arthur Miller Theatre on February 24th, 2023 at 8pm or February 25th at 2pm or 8pm. Tickets are free but can be reserved here. Check out this link to learn more about the show.