Last chapter in the “Detroit Trilogy” explores the plight of America’s blue collar line workers

Who: PlayMakers Repertory Company
What: Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
When: October 10 to 28; Opening Night & Press Opening, Friday, October 12, 2018
Where: Paul Green Theatre, Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art, 120 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill, NC
Tickets: Start at $15; Student tickets start at $10

(Chapel Hill, NC, September 24, 2018) PlayMakers Repertory Company proudly presents Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew, the searing dramatic final installment in her Detroit Trilogy. Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, the production runs from October 10 to 28, 2018.

Skeleton Crew transports us to the start of the Great Recession in 2008, where one of the last auto stamping plants in Detroit is in trouble. What will this mean for its blue-collar workforce? The plant’s line workers have become family, but alliances and power dynamics shift as each of them must make difficult decisions when they see the writing on the wall. What choices are you willing to make to take care of you and yours? To take care of your co-workers? To survive?

“Dominique Morisseau is a master at writing about sweeping, universal issues—but in a way that makes them feel beautifully, tragically, and singularly human,” said Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director. “Skeleton Crew is very much a play of our time, in its exploration of how far each of us will go to protect our little piece of the pie. In the hands of the extraordinary Valerie Curtis-Newton, the play becomes a quiet but profound conversation-starter about what it means to be a ‘worker’ in America today, and to feel that ‘progress’ is leaving behind an entire segment of the population.”

“As an artist and citizen, I believe so strongly in the power of theatre to put us in relationship with one another and allow us to explore what brings us together as a community, as well as what breaks us apart,” said Curtis-Newton. “There are so many facets to the relationships in this play—family, co-workers, friends, adversaries—that give it resonance far beyond our present moment. Working with the incredible company at PlayMakers made it easy to feel safe enough to explore how we can be all those things to each other, sometimes at the same time, and yet still come out the other side.”

Skeleton Crew features PlayMakers acting company members Kathryn Hunter-Williams as Faye (“Tartuffe,” “Count”) Samuel Ray Gates as Reg (“Dot,” “Leaving Eden”), Alex Givens as Dez (“The Christians,” “Sense and Sensibility”), and Shanelle Nicole Leonard as Shanita (“Tartuffe” “Intimate Apparel”).

The Creative Team of Skeleton Crew includes: Valerie Curtis-Newton (Director; Founding Artistic Director of The Hansberry Project), Jan Chambers (Scenic Designer; “The Cake,” “A Christmas Carol”), Junghyun Georgia Lee (Costume Designer; “The Cake,” “Intimate Apparel”), Porsche McGovern (Lighting Designer; “Twelfth Night,” “We Are Proud to Present…”), Gabriel Clausen (Sound Designer; PlayMakers debut), Dominic Abbenante (Video Designer; “Temples of Lung and Air,” “The Christians”), Adam N. Versényi (Dramaturg; Chair, UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Dramatic Art) and Elizabeth Ray (Stage Manager; “The Cake,” “Sense and Sensibility”)

Skeleton Crew  is recommended for ages 16 and up.

For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit www.playmakersrep.org. Individual ticket prices start at $15, with student discounts.

Performance and Special Event Schedule:

  • September 24, 7:00 p.m. Chapel Hill Public Library — “In the Wings,” a series of conversations in partnership with the Chapel Hill and Durham County Public Libraries. Free and open to the public.s
  • October 11, 6:00 p.m. — “The Vision Series—Directors in Conversation,” a behind-the-scenes preview with members of the creative team before the evening’s performance, at the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art. Free and open to the public.
  • October 10-11, 7:30 p.m. — Preview performances
  • October 12, 7:30 p.m. — Opening Performance & Press Opening, with post-show Opening Night Celebration
  • October 16, 7:30 p.m. — All-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description
  • October 16, 7:30 p.m. — Community Night. General admission seating, with all tickets $15
  • October 17 and 21 — Free post-show discussions with members of the creative team, cast and community members
  • October 20, 2:00 p.m. — Open captioned performance, with dialog, stage direction, and sound effects communicated on a “universal access” live caption unit

About PlayMakers Repertory Company:
PlayMakers Repertory Company is North Carolina’s premier professional theatre company. For more than 40 years, we have produced relevant and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives, and creates transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities. We are proud to be part of a 100 year tradition of playmaking at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America”.

PlayMakers Contacts: 

  • For press information and interviews, contact Diana Pineda, Director of Sales and Marketing, dmpineda@email.unc.edu or 919.962.7114
  • For photos or poster art and other PlayMakers questions, please contact Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing, rosalie@unc.edu or 919.962.6997

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