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Riveting & timely new play Skeleton Crew starts March 2

RIVETING AND TIMELY NEW PLAY SKELETON CREW BY DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU BEGINS FRIDAY, MARCH 2

(BOSTON) – The Huntington Theatre Company presents the powerful drama Skeleton Crew, by Dominique Morisseau (Detroit ’67 and Paradise Blue) and directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian (Nat Turner in Jerusalem at New York Theatre Workshop and The Convert at Underground Railway Theater). Skeleton Crew runs from March 2 through March 31, 2018 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.

Skeleton Crew opens in the breakroom of the last small auto plant still standing, where 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. Inspired by August Wilson’s Century Cycle, Dominique Morisseau’s bold and compassionate new play is part of her Detroit Project play cycle.

“Dominique Morisseau has quickly become one of the most important playwrights of her generation,” says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “It’s no wonder critics and audiences have compared her to masters like Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. In this extraordinarily well-crafted play, she masterfully tells a story that examines class and identity with searing brilliance. This is a night at the theatre that will satisfy, and stay with you.”

In Skeleton Crew, Dominique Morisseau explores the hardships brought into her hometown of Detroit after the 2008 economic recession. Likened by The New York Times to “Clifford Odets’ dramas,” “the great Pittsburgh cycle of August Wilson,” and of being “squarely in the tradition of Arthur Miller,” Morisseau is drawn to telling stories that explore humanity through a mix of humor and warmth. Skeleton Crew comes together through a mix of dramatic fictionalization, historical research, and interviews with Morisseau’s family and fellow Detroiters, who as Morisseau puts it, “have been some of the kindest, most progressive, most ambitious, most brave, most conscious, most loving, most hardworking people I have ever known.” 

“I am extremely excited to share my play about the working class in Detroit with the people of Boston and connect through our common cores,” says playwright Dominique Morisseau. “I've seen many brilliant works at the Huntington Theatre Company and have had transformative experiences. It feels right to join the ranks of some of my favorite writers and become part of the extended community of this urgent and necessary theatre.”

The New York Times calls Skeleton Crew, "A very fine new play! Warm-blooded and astute.”

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
The auto factory employees in Skeleton Crew include Shanita, a second-generation line worker and single mother-to-be, played by Toccarra Cash (The Piano Lesson at Hartford Stage); Dez, a confident employee who has sights for a life beyond the factory, played by Jonathan Louis Dent (Sons of the Prophet at the Huntington); and Faye, a long-time employee and the auto factory’s union representative, played by Patricia R. Floyd (“The Incredible Jessica James” on Netflix). Overseeing them all is Reggie, the auto factory’s foreman, played by Maurice Emmanuel Parent (Merrily We Roll Along and A Raisin in the Sun at the Huntington). 

Dominique Morisseau (Playwright) is a playwright and actress. She received her BFA in acting from the University of Michigan and her start as a performance poet in the Detroit community of Harmonie Park. She has since become a noted award-winning playwright in New York City and has developed a 3-play cycle about her hometown, entitled The Detroit Project. The inaugural play Detroit ’67, about the riots/rebellion in 1967, originated at The Public Theater/NYSF and extended at Classical Theatre of Harlem with the National Black Theatre. The production was nominated for eight Audelco Theatre Awards including Best Playwright. The second play Paradise Blue, about Detroit’s 1949 jazz community uprooted by urban renewal, was the winner of the L. Arnold Weissberger Award and received development at Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre Center, New York Theatre Workshop, and The Public Theater/NYSF. The third and final play Skeleton Crew, about a makeshift family of workers at the last exporting auto plant in the city, received a BareBones production at the Lark Play Development Center, played Off Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company, and is now being produced all across the US. Ms. Morisseau, a recent PoNY (Playwright of New York) fellow, is also generating a substantial body of work independent of the Detroit cycle: Sunset Baby, Follow Me to Nellie’s, and Blood at the Root. Her work has also been published in The New York 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, honoree for the Primus Prize by the American Theatre Critics Association, and winner of the Stavis Playwriting Award. University of Michigan has also awarded her with their Emerging Leader Award, and the city of Detroit has honored her with a Spirit of Detroit Award. Most substantially, Ms. Morisseau has recently been awarded the esteemed Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama. She is an artist that believes wholeheartedly in the power and strength of community.

Megan Sandberg-Zakian (Director) makes her Huntington debut with Skeleton Crew. Recent directing credits include the world premiere of Nat Turner in Jerusalem (New York Theatre Workshop), The Broken Record (New York Times Critic’s Pick, FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award), The Convert (Underground Railway Theater, Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Trinity Repertory Company/Perishable Theatre), and DontrellWho Kissed the Sea (Cleveland Public Theatre, National New Play Network rolling world premiere). She is the director-in-residence at Merrimack Repertory Theatre where her credits include the world premiere of Eleanor Burgess’ Chill, The RoyaleA Christmas Carol, and It’s a Wonderful Life.  She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Theater Award and the TCG Future Leaders fellowship, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a proud Stage Directors and Choreographers Society member, and co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with Middle Eastern stories.

Skeleton Crew features scenic design by Wilson Chin (Tiger Style! at the Huntington); costume design by Ari Fulton (“Orange is the New Black”); lighting design by Adam Honoré (Fun Home international premiere); and sound design by Nathan Leigh (The Hound of the Baskervilles at Central Square Theatre). Casting by Alaine Alldaffer. Production stage manager is Kevin Schlagle; assistant stage manager is Alycia Marucci.

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
The Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Huntington brings together superb local and national talent and produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions. The Huntington runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington has long been an anchor cultural institution of Huntington Avenue, the Avenue of the Arts, and will remain so on a permanent basis with plans to convert the Huntington Avenue Theatre into a first-rate, modern venue with expanded services to audiences, artists, and the community. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

PHOTO DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS
To download high-resolution (or smaller) photos of Skeleton Crew:

  1. Visit huntingtontheatre.org/news/photo-library/2017-2018/skeleton-crew/
  2. Click on the thumbnail and let the image load in your browser on the Flickr site.
  3. Click the " . . . " button in the lower right-hand corner of the window and select View All Sizes.
  4. Select the size you wish to download from the choices listed across the top of the image.
  5. Click the "Download the ___ size of this photo..." link at the top. The image will download to your computer.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION AND CALENDAR
WHEN

March 2 – March 31, 2018
               Select Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm
               Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm
               Days and times vary; see complete schedule above.
Press Opening: Wednesday, March 7, 6:30pm. RSVP online.

WHERE
South End / Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston

TICKETS
Single tickets starting at $25 and FlexPasses are on sale:

  • online at huntingtontheatre.org;
  • by phone at 617 266 0800; or
  • in person at the Huntington Avenue Theatre Box Office, 264 Huntington Ave. and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Box Office, 527 Tremont St. in Boston’s South End.

 Select discounts apply:

  • $5 off: seniors (65+)
  • $30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)
  • $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

SPECIAL EVENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH SKELETON CREW
POST-SHOW AUDIENCE CONVERSATIONS
After select Fri. – Sun. evening, Wed. matinee, Sat. matinee, and Sun. matinee performances throughout the season. An opportunity for audience members to discuss what they have just seen led by members of the Huntington staff.

COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP
Thursday, March 8 after the 7:30pm performance

Huntington Community Members are invited to a free pre-show reception on Thursday, March 8. There will be complimentary food and drinks, and attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the Huntington season as well as meet other interested theatregoers. Tickets to the 7:30pm performance of Skeleton Crew should be purchased separately.

The Huntington Community Membership Initiative is a program designed to reduce the cost barrier of attending live theatre for those with limited income. The program’s goal is to diversify audiences to better represent the city of Boston. Community Members can purchase tickets to any available seat at any performance without restriction for just $20. 

35 BELOW WRAP PARTY
Friday, March 9 after the 8pm performance
A post-show party for the region’s culturally minded ages 35 and below featuring backstage access, free refreshments, and live entertainment. Mingle with members of the cast, creative team, and Huntington staff. 35 Below tickets are available at all performances to patrons 35 and under for just $30.

STUDENT MATINEES
Thursday, March 15 at 10am
Thursday, March 22 at 10am
For students in grades 9–12. Tickets: $15.
Student matinees include a pre-show in-school visit, a curriculum guide, a post-show Actors Forum, and a Dramatic Returns card for each student. Call 617 273 1558 for more information.

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCES
Thursday, March 15
Sunday, March 17
The Huntington Theatre Company offers audio description for blind and low-vision patrons at designated performances.
Tickets are $20 for each patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org or 617 273 1558.

ACTORS FORUMS
Thursday, March 15 after the 10am performance
Thursday, March 22 after the 10am performance
Thursday, March 22 after the 7:30pm performance
Wednesday, March 28 after the 7:30pm performance
Meet participating members of the cast of Skeleton Crew and ask them your questions at the Actors Forum following the performance. 

HUMANITIES FORUM
Sunday, March 18 after the 2pm performance
Explore the development and significance of Skeleton Crew with a guest expert following the 2pm performance on March 18.

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Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
Main: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115 | 617 266 7900 | BOX OFFICE 617 266 0800

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