SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe continues its celebration of Black History Month with a staged reading of Dominique Morisseau’s powerful play, “Skeleton Crew.” The reading, presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. will take place at WBTT on Saturday, February 26 at 4 p.m.
“Skeleton Crew,” the third in Morisseau’s Detroit cycle trilogy, concerns a tight-knit family of workers at an auto stamping plant at the start of the Great Recession. With the business on shaky ground, each of the workers has to make choices on how to move forward if the plant goes under. Shanita has to decide how she’ll support herself and her unborn child; Faye has to decide how and where she’ll live; and Dez has to figure out how to make his ambitious dreams a reality. Power dynamics shift as their manager, Reggie, is torn between doing right by his co-workers and his concerns about providing for his family.
Morisseau’s Detroit cycle trilogy, titled “The Detroit Project,” is the playwright’s undertaking to examine the socio-political history of Detroit. In “Skeleton Crew,” she examines how the line between blue collar and white collar becomes blurred, and how a working family must reckon with their personal loyalties, their instincts for survival, and their ultimate hopes for humanity. The show, starring Phylicia Rashad, is currently running at the Samuel J Friedman Theatre on Broadway, closing on February 20.
WBTT’s Associate Managing Director, Travis Ray, will direct; the cast is Dee Selmore (Faye), Darius Autry (Dez), Amber Myers (Shanita) and Patric Robinson (Reggie).
“Dominique Morisseau has emerged as one of the most important playwrights of our time, and we are honored to be able to provide a venue to amplify her voice,” said WBTT Education Director/Assistant Artistic Director Jim Weaver. “Even with the disruptions to our season due to the pandemic, we are determined to stay active and provide public arts opportunities through two Black History Month concerts and this staged reading, from our beautiful rooftop event space.”
Last year, while its theater was closed due to COVID-19, WBTT rehearsed, filmed, held outdoor screenings and then streamed the video of another Morisseau play, “Pipeline.” The following month, Morisseau traveled to Sarasota to participate in a “WBTT Voices” community forum, titled “Telling Our Stories in the Black Theatre.”
Weather permitting, the play reading will be presented on the Rooftop Terrace of the WBTT Education and Outreach Building, adjacent to the theatre (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota). In the event of inclement weather, the alternate location will be indoors, on the first floor of the building. Tickets are $17 (includes applicable fees). For tickets, visit westcoastblacktheatre.org or call the Box Office at 941-366-1505.
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
The mission of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is to produce professional theatre that promotes and celebrates African American history and experience, engages a broad base of patrons and audiences, supports the development of a dynamic group of aspiring artists, and builds self-esteem in youth of color. Visit westcoastblacktheatre.org.