At work, it’s all about trust. And survival.
Detroit, Michigan. 2008. What do you do when the industry that has supported you, your family, and your entire region threatens to close up and go away?
In the breakroom of the last small auto plant still standing, a makeshift family of workers swap stories, share dreams, and take pride in their work. When confronted with the possibility of the factory closing, power dynamics shift and each is pushed to the limits of survival.
This powerful play explores how loyalties and survival collide when a world — our world — changes. Inspired by August Wilson’s Century Cycle, Dominique Morisseau’s bold and compassionate new play is part of her Detroit Project play cycle. It is poetic and powerful.
This is the West Michigan premiere of the Tony-nominated play and is helmed by returning guest director Dee Dee Batteast (The Revolutionists). The cast is led by Farmers Alley favorite Dwandra Nickole Lampkin (Doubt: A Parable, The Christians, Clybourne Park), with Jessica Krolik, Dan Johnson, and Xavier D. Bolden rounding out the superb cast.
“A very fine new play… warm-blooded, astute, deeply moral, and deeply American.” — The New York Times
“A prime example of how theatre imitates life… intense, touching and funny.” — The Amsterdam News
“Skeleton Crew” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com
By Dominique Morisseau
Dominique Morisseau is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle), which includes the following plays: Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays include: Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theatre), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre); Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre) and Follow Me To Nellie’s (Premiere Stages). She is also the Tony-nominated book writer on the new Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Imperial Theatre).
Dominique is alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, Women’s Project Lab and Lark Playwrights Workshop, and has developed work at Sundance Lab, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference. She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series Shameless (3 seasons).
Additional awards include: Spirit of Detroit Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper Prize, TEER Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Audelco Awards, NBFT August Wilson Playwriting Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, Obie Award (2), Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, Variety’s Women of Impact for 2017-18, and a recent MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow.
Dee Dee Batteast (she/her) is currently adjunct acting faculty for Ball State’s BFA program. She teaches courses in beginning acting, audition, and one-person shows. She is also a proud alumnus of Ball State (07).
Ms. Batteast is also a writer. Her self-produced one-woman show, NO AIDS, NO MAIDS, enjoyed a successful run at the Washington DC Fringe Festival, where it received the Capital Fringe Honors: Favorite Show of Fringe and Favorite Solo Performance. Ms. Batteast’s regional directing credits include THE THIN PLACE at Gloucester Stage, PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE at Clarence Brown Theatre, plus THE REVOLUTIONISTS and THE CONVICTION OF LADY LORRAINE at Farmers Alley Theatre.
Dee Dee received her MFA in acting from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she spent 3 years as a company member of PlayMakers Repertory Theatre. Some of her recent regional acting credits include: MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR and THE ROYALE at American Players Theatre, CLYDE’S at Studio Theatre, A CHRISTMAS CAROL and OHIO STATE MURDERS at The Goodman, and DETROIT 67’ at The Clarence Brown Theatre. She has also worked at Virginia Stage Company, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Indiana Repertory Theatre. Television credits include “Chicago Fire,” “The Shinning Girls,” and “Chicago Med.”
Dwandra is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Western Michigan University. She holds an MFA in Acting from the National Theatre Conservatory. Farmer’s Alley credits include: DOUBT, CLYBOURNE PARK, THE CHRISTIANS and her solo-show, THE CONVICTION OF LADY LORRAINE. Most recently Dwandra appeared in the world premiere of ORIGIN STORY at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. She has performed at the Tony Award winning Denver Center Theatre, The Huntington Theatre in Boston, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and the National Black Theatre in NYC. Some of her most memorable roles are Mrs. Muller in DOUBT, Matron Mama Morton in CHICAGO, Aunt Ester in GEM OF THE OCEAN, and Miss Leah in FLYIN WEST. Her television credits include “Law and Order,” “Third Watch,” “Law and Order: SVU” and the critically acclaimed ABC series “Wonderland.” Upcoming projects include the world premiere of WHAT SPRINGS FORTH at the Purple Rose Theatre, Summer 2024.
Jessica Krolik is thrilled to make her debut at Farmers Alley, as Shanita in this production of SKELETON CREW. As a recent graduate from Western Michigan University where she received her BFA, Jessica is excited to bring her dedication and passion into the world. Noteworthy performances such as EMILIA with WMU and DIRT, ASH, DEAD TREE with Face Off Theatre Company highlight her versatile skills. Jessica would like to acknowledge and express gratitude for the endless support of her parents, partner, and best friend.
Dan Johnson is honored to make his Farmers Alley debut with SKELETON CREW. A multi-award winning actor, Dan has also been lucky enough to work as an anti-racism activist and a cultural sensitivity consultant in Southeast Michigan. Thanks to Mom, Dad and Angela for their love, and you for supporting live Michigan theatre. Enjoy!
Xavier D. Bolden, A.K.A Zack Bolden, is an actor, rapper, content creator and curator. A true performing artist. The former student of WMU’s Theatre Department built Reivax Noved Productions, a multi media production company. Native to Kalamazoo, MI, Xavier is known for winning the National Race to the Top Commencement Challenge (2010), bringing the 44th President, Barack Obama for a historical speech to Kalamazoo. Most recently, his stage credits include Donnie in EXIT STRATEGY, Lymon in THE PIANO LESSON, Ogun in MARCUS, OR THE SECRET OF SWEET, as Othello in OTHELLO, and Walter Lee Younger in A RAISIN IN THE SUN.
Membership Has Its Perks
Get insider access, great savings, and the ultimate flexibility when you become a member!
Farmers Alley does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects (such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 269.343.2727
Contains strong language and adult themes. Farmers Alley Theatre does not offer further advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects (such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 269.343.2727