Amari Cheatom, Caroline Stefanie Clay, Kelly McCreary and D.B. Woodside Set for Los Angeles Premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s SKELETON CREW at The Geffen Playhouse, June 5 – July 8

Kelly McCreary. Photo by Lia Chang
Kelly McCreary. Photo by Lia Chang

The Geffen Playhouse is presenting the Los Angeles Premiere of Skeleton Crew, the third and final installment in Dominique Morisseau’s award-winning three-play cycle, The Detroit Project, featuring Amari Cheatom (Roman J. Israel, Esq.) as Dez, Caroline Stefanie Clay (Broadway’s The Little Foxes) as Faye, Kelly McCreary (Grey’s Anatomy) as Shanita and D.B. Woodside (“Lucifer”) as Reggie. Patricia McGregor will direct.

Previews for Skeleton Crew begin Tuesday, June 5 in the Gil Cates Theater at The Geffen Playhouse with opening night set for Wednesday, June 13. The show closes Sunday, July 8.

Skeleton Crew follows four co-workers-Faye, Dez, Reggie and Shanita-at a Detroit auto factory in 2008. The play highlights the layered relationships and drama of blue-collar workers navigating the instability and uncertainty in their personal lives and at work. Each character’s patience and loyalty are tested as the plant’s future comes into question and they are forced to make hard choices to ensure their individual survival. Morisseau’s masterful command of dialect and dialogue brings depth and authenticity to a story about the very local implications of global change.

Skeleton Crew, the final play in Morisseau’s three-play cycle that includes Detroit ’67 and Paradise Blue, had its world premiere in 2016 at New York’s Atlantic Theater Company. In 2017, McGregor directed Washington D.C.’s Studio Theatre production of Skeleton Crew, in which Clay also starred.

Playwright Dominique Morisseau is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle) which includes Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre) and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and National Black Theatre). Additional plays include Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theater), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theater Company), Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre) and Follow Me To Nellie’s (Premiere Stages). She is also the book writer for the new musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). Morisseau is an alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, Women’s Project Lab and Lark Playwrights Workshop and has developed work at Sundance Lab, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Eugene O’Neil Playwrights Conference. Her work has been commissioned by Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Women’s Project Theater, South Coast Repertory, People’s Light and Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Penumbra Theatre Company. She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series “Shameless”. 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, Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, and being named to Variety‘s 2017 Women’s Impact Report.

Patricia McGregor is a director and writer from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Recent credits include Skeleton Crew (Studio Theatre), Measure for Measure (The Old Globe), The Parchman Hour (Guthrie Theater), Hamlet (The Public Theater), Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout Theatre Company), brownsville song (b-side for tray) (Lincoln Center Theater) and the world premieres of Good Grief (Center Theatre Group), Stagger Lee (Dallas Theater Center), Hurt Village (Signature Theatre), Holding It Down and Blood Dazzler (Harlem Stage) and The House That Would Not Stand (Berkeley Rep/Yale Rep). Other credits include director and co-creator of the oratorio Place at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and director of A Raisin in the Sun, The Winter’s Tale, Spunk, Becky Shaw, Adoration of the Old Woman, Four Electric Ghosts and Nothing Personal. She has directed the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and staged readings for HBO’s writer’s Access program. She was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow at Yale School of Drama where she earned her MFA and served as Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.

Amari Cheatom (Dez) is proud to make his Geffen Playhouse debut with Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew. His credits include The Temple Bombing (ALLIANCE THEATRE), Dutch Masters (LAByrinth Theater Company), On the Levee (Lincoln Center Theater) and The Book of Grace (Public Theater). His film credits include Roman J. Israel, Esq., Detroit and Crown Heights. Cheatom is a graduate of The Juilliard School’s Drama Division and the Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta.

Caroline Stefanie Clay (Faye) is an actress, audiobook reader, playwright and vocal coach. She has appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning productions of The Little Foxes, Doubt and The Royal Family and as consultant to regional training programs around the world. Her film and television credits include Morning Glory, The Heights, “House of Cards,” “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”. A native Washingtonian, Clay graduated from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. In 2013, she received her MFA in Performance at the University of Maryland. Her solo show, Let It Flo!, about the life of radical feminist Florynce Kennedy, will be featured in American Repertory Theater’s 2018-2019 season, produced by Waitress director Diane Paulus and social justice icon Gloria Steinem. Clay received a 2018 Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actress for the role of Faye in Washington D.C.’s Studio Theatre production of Skeleton Crew, directed by Patricia McGregor.

Kelly McCreary (Shanita) currently resides at Seattle Grace where she joined the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” at the end of Season 10 as Dr. Maggie Pierce. Before that, McCreary was seen on “Scandal,” “Castle,” “Emily Owens M.D.,” “I Just Want My Pants Back,” “White Collar,” “Rubicon” and “Cyberchase”. Recently, she portrayed Eartha Kitt in the indie film Life opposite Dane DeHaan and Robert Pattinson. Her other film credits include Baby Baby Baby, Being Flynn and How to Follow Strangers. Onstage, McCreary has appeared in Broadway’s Passing Strange, Perfect Harmony at Theatre Row, the world premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s Follow Me To Nellie’s at Kean Stage and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Eurydice with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She is a graduate of Barnard College and trained at the Chautauqua Theatre Company, British American Drama Academy in London and The Actors Center in New York.

D.B. Woodside (Reggie) is currently seen as the series regular Amenadiel on “Lucifer” on the Fox network. Concurrently, he has been starring as Jeff Malone on the USA Network drama “Suits”. Prior to that, he was a recurring regular on “Parenthood” and played Wayne Palmer on the critically acclaimed Emmy Award-winning series “24”. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Woodside made his New York Theater debut as Martin Luther King Jr. in the Off-Broadway production of The Conscientious Objector at the Harold Clurman Theater.

Tickets currently priced at $25.00 – $90.00. Available in person at The Geffen Playhouse box office, by phone at 310.208.5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org. Fees may apply.

Rush tickets for each day’s performance are made available to the general public 30 minutes before showtime at the box office. $35.00 General / $10.00 Student

The run of Skeleton Crew will feature the Geffen’s popular Talk Back Tuesdays, giving theater lovers a chance to engage in a deeper conversation about the play and the process.

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