Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Jason Dirden, Wendell B. Franklin, Lynda Gravatt, Nikiya Mathis and Adesola Osakalumi set for World Premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s SKELETON CREW at Atlantic Theater Company, Jan. 6 – Feb. 14

Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) is presenting the world premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s play Skeleton Crew, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and featuring Jason Dirden, Wendell B. Franklin, Lynda Gravatt, Nikiya Mathis and Adesola Osakalumi.

Atlantic Theater Company’s Neil Pepe is flanked by Nikiya Mathis and Jason Dirden attend the 2015 Steinberg Playwright Awards on November 16, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Atlantic Theater Company’s Neil Pepe is flanked by Nikiya Mathis and Jason Dirden attend the 2015 Steinberg Playwright Awards on November 16, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

In Dominique Morisseau’s third play in her Detroit trilogy, 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?

2015 Steinberg Award winner Dominique Morisseau attends the 2015 Steinberg Playwright Awards on November 16, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

2015 Steinberg Award winner Dominique Morisseau attends the 2015 Steinberg Playwright Awards on November 16, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Skeleton Crew will begin previews Wednesday, January 6, officially open Tuesday, January 19 and play a limited engagement through Sunday, February 14, 2016 Off Broadway at Atlantic Stage 2 (330 West 16 Street).

Playwright Dominique Morisseau is best known for her trilogy of plays about her hometown Detroit. The first installment, Detroit ’67 was staged Off Broadway in 2013 and won the 2014 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. Her second play, Paradise Blue, debuted at the Williamstown Theater Festival last summer. Her play Sunset Baby had its world premiere at the Gate Theater in London in 2012 before transferring Off Broadway in 2013. In November, she received the prestigious 2015 Steinberg Playwright Award.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony® and Obie Award winning actor and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson most recently staged the world premieres of Dominique Morriseau’s Paradise Blue and his own play Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine. Off Broadway he has directed the Obie and Lortel Award winning production of The Piano Lesson and The Happiest Song Plays Last, My Children My Africa, Seven Guitars and The First Breeze of Summer. His Emmy® and Golden Globe Award® nominated screenplay adaptation of his autobiographical play Lackawanna Blues was awardedThe Humanitas Prize, The National Board of Review Award and the NAACP Image Award.

Jason Dirden appeared in A Raisin in the Sun and Fences on Broadway and received Obie and Theatre World awards for his performance in the Obie and Lortel Award winning production of The Piano Lesson Off Broadway. Wendell B. Franklin’s New York credits include Speak Truth to Power, The Desire and Brothers from the Bottom. He was featured in The Lark and Sundance Theatre Lab workshops of Skeleton Crew. Lynda Gravatt has appeared in the Broadway productions of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, King Hedley II and 45 Seconds from Broadway and most recently Off Broadway in The Hummingbird’s Tour. Nikiya Mathis has originated roles in the Off Broadway productions of Milk Like Sugar, Fidelis, Seed and co-starred in Lortel Award winning production of The Brother Sister Plays trilogy. Adesola Osakalumi starred in the original Broadway cast, national and international tours of Fela! and has appeared on Broadway in Equus and Off Broadway in Eyewitness Blues and Jam on the Groove.

Skeleton Crew will feature scenic design by Michael Carnahan, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Rui Rita, original music and sound design by Rob Kaplowitz, choreography by Adesola Osakalumi and casting by Caparelliotis Casting.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Dominique Morisseau receive 2015 Steinberg Awards at the 8th Annual ‘Mimi’ Awards

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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