April 13—May 11, 2019
(Cincinnati, OH) It’s time to walk the line. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati presents the regional premiere of Skeleton Crew, a compelling drama about a driven team of autoworkers trying to navigate a cutthroat industry. This searing new play is by Dominique Morisseau (Detroit ‘67 ), a 2018 recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellows Program (unofficially referred to as a Genius Grant). Skeleton Crew is the final installment of Morisseau’s powerful Detroit Project, which was inspired by August Wilson’s landmark Century Cycle. Playing April 13-May 11, 2019. Directed by Stori Ayers. Production Sponsor is The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.
Times are rough in 2008 Detroit as a hundred-year-old industry grinds to a halt. As rumors fly about factory closings, a tight-knit trio of autoworkers faces tough decisions about the future, while their foreman weighs the demands of white-collar management status against his fierce loyalty to his team. From the playwright of Detroit ’67 comes a powerful and engrossing portrait of courage and camaraderie in blue-collar America.
“What I love most about being an artist working on a Dominique Morisseau show is that you are instantly changed from artist to activists. Her work is embedded with social outreach that, as an artist, requires more of you,” shares Director Stori Ayers. “Skeleton Crew is a play about the ultimate sacrifice: the sacrifice of self in the fight for justice. We all know that there is no progress without sacrifice.” She adds, “My hope is that each audience member will see that, when faced with injustice, the act of sacrificing self for the greater good is the most sublime gesture one can do for another. A gesture that is greatly needed in our society today.”
About the Cast
Burgess Byrd (Faye) returns to Ensemble Theatre, having appeared last in Red Velvet, This Random World, and Detroit ’67. Recently, she was a guest artist at the University of Texas at Austin in The Merchant of Venice. Some of her other credits include Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and A Raisin in the Sun, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; Harry and the Thief and Pretty Fire, Know Theatre of Cincinnati; Caroline or Change, New Stage Collective; Silence! The Musical, Falcon Theatre; Doubt, The Drama Workshop; and Avenue Q, Showbiz Players.
Amari Cheatom (Dez) is an Atlanta, Georgia native who received his training at The Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta Theatre and is a graduate of the prestigious Julliard School of Drama Division. His theatre credits include Skeleton Crew, The Old Globe (San Diego); Detroit ’67, Baltimore Center Stage; The Temple Bombing, Alliance Theatre; Fetch Clay, Make Man, True Colors Theatre Co.; Dutch Masters, LAByrinth Theatre Company; On the Levee, Lincoln Center Theater; The Book of Grace, The Public Theatre; and Zooman and the Sign, Signature Theatre Company. His film credits include Roman J. Israel Esq, Detroit, Crown Heights, Moths & Butterflies, The Alchemist Cookbook, Django Unchained, Newlyweeds, Night Catches Us, and Knucklehead. His television credits include Numb3rs, Chase, Detroit 1-8-7, and Georgetown.
Ernaisja Curry (Shanita) returns to Ensemble Theatre having last appeared in This Random World. A Florida native, she has made Cincinnati her home after completing the Bruce E. Coyle Acting Internship with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Some of her recent credits include Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride, Know Theatre of Cincinnati; Dreamgirls, The Carnegie; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; and The Comedy of Errors, Kentucky Shakespeare.
Brian Marable (Reggie) makes his Ensemble Theatre debut with this production. His professional regional theatre credits include Spunk, American Stage; Detroit ’67, Baltimore Center Stage and Detroit Public Theater; Skeleton Crew, The Old Globe (San Diego) and People’s Light; and Pipeline, Detroit Public Theater. Mr. Marable created his own theater company, The Clubhouse Theater, in the city and neighborhood where he grew up. His film credits include Standing in the Shadows of Motown, Have a Little Faith, The Citizen (2012) and Low Winter Sun.
Production team includes D. Lynn Meyers (Producing Artistic Director), Brian c. Mehring (Set & Lighting Designer), Jack Murphy (Technical Director), Matthew Hollstegge (Production Manager), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Master & Design Assistant), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), and Stormie Mac (Costume Designer). Production Stage Manager is Brandon T. Holmes. Assistant Stage Manager is Lexi Muller.
Performances run Tuesday through Sunday. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday, 8:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 pm; and Sunday, 7:00 pm. A complete calendar of performances is available online at www.ensemblecincinnati.org.
Ticket prices start at $35 for adults; student tickets are $28; and children are $24. Half-Price Rush Tickets: All remaining tickets for the current day’s performance(s) are available two hours prior to each show time for half-price (discount does not apply to children’s tickets) when purchasing by phone or in person. $15 Student Rush Tickets: Students may purchase up to two $15 student rush tickets two hours prior to show time with valid student I.D. Available in person only.
2018-2019 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. Additional support provided PNC.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.