She’s won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, received the Steinberg Playwright Award, and Huffington Post hailed her as a “direct heir to the magical wordsmiths named Lorraine Hansberry, Tennessee Williams, and August Wilson.” Lofty accolades for a self-proclaimed “Detroit girl with a Brooklyn undertone.” Yet, playwright and actress Dominique Morisseau is just starting her ascendance to the top of the theiatre world. Her play, Skeleton Crew, the final installment in her trilogy of plays about her hometown of Detroit, will open on January 6, 2016 at the Atlantic Stage 2 Theater.
Skeleton Crew is a tale about how a makeshift family of workers at the last exporting auto plant in the city navigate the possibility of foreclosure. Power dynamics shift and they are pushed to the limits of survival. When the line between blue collar and white collar gets blurred, how far over the lines are they willing to step?
The production’s cast includes Jason Dirden (12 Angry Men, A Raisin In The Sun, Fences), Lynda Gravatt (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Doubt, King Hedley II, 45 Seconds from Broadway), Adesola Osakalumi (Fela!, Fela! The Concert, Equus), Nikiya Mathis, and Wendell B. Franklin.
Actor, director, and Obie Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson is directing the play. Santiago-Hudson also directed the second installment of the trilogy, Paradise Blue, which was staged last summer at the Williamstown Theater Festival. The first installment of Morisseau’s trilogy, Detroit ’67, ran at the Public Theater in 2013.
Morisseau is a recent PoNY (Playwright of New York) fellow, and also wrote Sunset Baby, Follow Me To Nellie’s, and Blood At The Root. Her work has been published in N.Y. Times bestseller “Chicken Soup for the African American Soul” and in the Harlem-based literary journal “Signifyin’ Harlem.” She is a Jane Chambers Playwriting Award honoree, a two-time NAACP Image Award recipient, and winner of the Stavis Playwriting Award.
Santiago-Hudson is a noted actor and playwright who has appeared on Broadway in Jelly’s Last Jam and Stick Fly. He received a Tony Award for his performance in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. In 2001, Santiago-Hudson wrote Lackawanna Blues, an autobiographical play in which he portrayed himself and some twenty different characters from his past. He adapted it for an award-winning 2005 HBO film starring Hill Harper, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Terrance Howard.
In 2013, Santiago-Hudson won an Obie Award for Direction and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play for his work in the Off-Broadway production of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson.
Skeleton will run through February 14, 2016. Tickets for the production can be purchased here.