Skeleton Crew


Skeleton Crew

Full-Length Play, Drama  /  2w, 2m

Dominique Morisseau's powerful and tense play, the third in her Detroit cycle trilogy, concerns workers at an auto stamping plant at the start of the Great Recession.

Image: 2016 Atlantic Theater Company Production (Ahron R. Foster)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2w, 2m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Not Applicable
  • Audience
    Target Audience
  • Nominee: Three 2022 Tony Awards, including Best Play
Skeleton Crew


At the start of the Great Recession, one of the last auto stamping plants in Detroit is on shaky ground. Each of the workers have to make choices on how to move forward if their 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 work family, and by the red tape in his office. Powerful and tense, Skeleton Crew is the third of Dominique Morisseau's Detroit cycle trilogy.
Skeleton Crew premiered at the Atlantic Theatre Company in New York City in January 2016 under the direction of Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The play opened on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 26, 2022. Directed by Santiago-Hudson, the production featured Chanté Adams, Joshua Boone, Brandon J. Dirden, Adesola Osakalumi and Phylicia Rashad.
Cast Attributes
FAYE – Black woman, mid-late 50’s, Working class woman. Tough and a lifetime of dirt beneath her nails. Somewhere, deep compassion.
DEZ – Black man, mid-late 20’s, Working class man. Young hustler, playful, street-savy, and flirtatious.. Somewhere, deeply sensitive.
SHANITA – Black woman, mid-late 20’s, Working class young woman. Pretty but not ruled by it. Hard-working. By-the-books. Believes in the work she does. Also, pregnant. Somewhere, a beautiful dreamer.
REGGIE – Black man, late 30’s. White collar man. Studious. Dedicated. Compassionate. The Foreman. Somewhere, a fire brims.
  • Time Period New Millennium/21st Century
  • Setting Detroit, Michigan. Stamping Plant. Winter. Somewhere around year 2008.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Strong Language
    • Mild Adult Themes
    • Smoking


“Squarely in the tradition of Arthur Miller... A deeply moral and deeply American play.” – The New York Times

CRITIC'S PICK! “Clifford Odets' dramas come to mind and so does the great Pittsburgh cycle of August Wilson. But Skeleton Crew is squarely in the tradition of Arthur Miller...A deeply moral and deeply American play.” – The New York Times, Read More 

“Morrisseau has heart... Her rough-edged dialogue even has a touch of the street poet.” – Variety, Read More 

“Like Lorraine Hansberry and August Wilson before her, Morisseau creates characters who don't merely speak, they sing with the vernacular of their community. Rarely has dialogue ever felt so much like eavesdropping on an actual conversation.” – TheatreMania, Read More 

“Unquestionably a strong, formidable work...Theatregoers won't want to miss.” – Huffington Post, Read More 


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  • Skeleton Crew - Atlantic Theatre Company youtube thumbnail

    Skeleton Crew - Atlantic Theatre Company

  • Skeleton Crew - Geffen Theatre Promo youtube thumbnail

    Skeleton Crew - Geffen Theatre Promo


  • Skeleton Crew

    Image: 2016 Atlantic Theater Company Production (Ahron R. Foster)

  • Skeleton Crew

    Image: 2016 Atlantic Theater Company Production (Ahron R. Foster)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


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Dominique Morisseau

Dominique Morisseau is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle), which includes the following plays: Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays ...

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