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A Journey of Faith

By Carolyn Gillespie and Claudia Leo

"Bud, Not Buddy" is a novel by award-winning author and University of Michigan-Flint alumnus Christopher Paul Curtis.

UM-Flint College of Arts & Sciences

“When one door closes, don’t worry, because another door opens.”  Armed with this simple philosophy, part of his mother’s legacy, 10-year old Bud embarks on a journey from Flint to Grand Rapids in search of the father he never knew.

“Bud, Not Buddy,” a novel by award-winning author and University of Michigan-Flint alumnus Christopher Paul Curtis (see video below) comes to UM-Flint Theatre’s main stage March 19-28. The story has beed adapted for the stage by Reginald Andre Jackson; it is directed by Carolyn Gillespie.

The play is packed with action from the moment that ten-year old Bud Caldwell flees an abusive foster family and sets out on a journey across Michigan that restores his faith in the adult world. Along the way, he plots to hop a train from a hastily constructed Hooverville to a job as a migrant worker, hitch-hikes with a union organizer, and lands in a hot, Depression-era jazz band.

Curtis, a Flint native, worked for 13 years on the line at Fisher Body Plant #1 following high school, and completed his Bachelor of General Studies degree in 2001.  He was an avid reader from an early age. Today, he does much of his writing in libraries.

Curtis is this year’s recipient of the Myron and Margaret Winegarden Visiting Professorship, which brings to campus individuals of national and international reputation. “Bud, Not Buddy” has received more than a dozen of them, including the prestigious Newbery Medal for excellence in American literature in 2000, and Coretta Scott King Award, which recognizes outstanding African American writers.

While on campus this year, Curtis has been engaging with students and teachers from the Genesee Intermediate School District about imagination, reading, and writing.

The Department of Theatre and Dance is partnering with Flint Youth Theatre for four-weekday morning performance of the play, supported by study guide and discussion materials.

PERFORMANCES: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays March 19, 20, 26, and 27; and, 2 p.m. on Sundays March 21 & 28.

TICKETS: Call the box office, (810) 237-6520