New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Tune into Radio Jersey with Lee Mrowicki every Monday through Friday from 6pm to 8pm
Broadcast on Asbury Music!

REVIEW:" Skeleton Crew" by Premiere Stages at Kean University

By Gary Wien

originally published: 07/17/2017

REVIEW:" Skeleton Crew" by Premiere Stages at Kean University

(UNION, NJ) — Imagine working in an industry that is seemingly falling apart with plant closings announced each month and the threat of your own job being eliminated weighing heavily on your mind each day.  That’s the premise behind Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau, which takes place in Detroit (circa 2008) when auto plants were downsizing, shutting down, and moving outside of the area.

Skeleton Crew is being presented at Premiere Stages (located at Kean University) now through July 30.  About six years ago, Premiere Stages presented the playwright’s first work, Follow Me To Nellie’s.  Since then she has become one of the most respected playwrights in the country and for good reason.  The characters in Skeleton Crew are extremely well defined and the subject matter is powerful and timely.  Her work is often compared to that by Arthur Miller and August Wilson; while those are lofty names to be compared to, her work is definitely at that level.

Directed by John J. Wooten, Skeleton Crew stars Patricia R. Floyd as Faye, Daniel Boisrond as Dez, Kristen Adele as Shanita, and Shane Taylor as Reggie.  The latter is the supervisor; Dez and Shanita are extremely talented and skilled workers; and Faye is the elder of the group - someone who has worked within several positions at the plant for nearly three decades.  In fact, she’s just one year away from her 30th, which means a great deal for her pension.  She is a Union representative, a leader, and a mother figure to the other three.

Early in the play, Faye picks up signals from Reggie that the situation is dire. She gets the full story that the plant is scheduled to close within the year, but promises Reggie she won’t tell the others until he has a chance to make things right.  Faye is worried about their futures, healthcare, and her pension.  She wants Reggie to fight for them with management.  Patricia Floyd is tremendous as the “mother figure” for Dez, Shanita, and Reggie (who is the son of one of Faye’s best friends).  Her character has to be tough, while fighting lots of personal problems at the same time.  Floyd nails it.

REVIEW:" Skeleton Crew" by Premiere Stages at Kean University

Dez is a young street tough guy who might have the broadest character definition.  Even though he can look and sound like a guy from the hood, he’s also planning for his future (saving money to start his own company), is an extremely talented worker, and has a very sensitive side - especially when dealing with Shanita. Daniel Boisrond is terrific in this challenging portrayal.



The article continues after this ad

 


Shanita is pregnant and preparing for life as a single mother.  She has a firm belief that her child will make things clear for her in life.  While she has an opportunity to work at a copy center, Shanita wants to stay at the plant where she has unique skills.  She believes she is doing important work.  Although Shanita is mostly a side character, Kristen Adele has a few moments where she truly shines - mostly by balancing her vulnerability with strength.

Reggie is seen the least.  Early on, he is mostly a supervisor posting flyers about company rules.  As the play develops, his role takes on a greater importance as he straddles the line between saving their jobs and saving his own.  One could say he has the most challenging scene of all.  Shane Taylor does a good job here - especially when the role takes center stage.

For many years, I covered the auto industry and have met workers whose lives revolve around the auto plant floor.  Dominique truly captures the spirit of these workers who desperately wanted to keep doing what they believed was not just honest work, but important work.  These workers took pride in the cars they made just as much as the Skeleton Crew does.

I also liked how the playwright accurately captured the relationships within the workplace.  People can be close and far away to their co-workers at the same time.  They may think they know everything about a person, yet fail to know the names of someone’s children. Still, there is a bond, and that bond is clearly shown in this play.

Overall, Skeleton Crew is a very powerful play with a few twists in the second act that will likely take you by surprise.  The acting is superb and Wooten’s direction keeps the play moving at a crisp pace.  The play may take place in 2008, but its message is as timely as ever.  Highly recommended!

REVIEW:" Skeleton Crew" by Premiere Stages at Kean University

All photos by Mike Peters.




For more by this author, click here






Circle Players Presents "After The Revolution"
(PISCATAWAY, NJ) -- Circle Players presents After the Revolution by Amy Herzog, weekends from February 1st to February 17th. The production is directed by Alicia Harabin. In the play, Emma Joseph is a bright, hard-working, law school graduate continuing her family’s business of fighting for progressive ideals. 
Black Box PAC Presents "Significant Other"
(TEANECK, NJ) -- Black Box PAC's first main stage show of 2019 is Significant Other by Joshua Harmon. BBPAC is no stranger to Harmon’s work, as one of the first hits at the Black Box Performing Arts Center was Harmon’s hit Bad Jews. Significant Other follows the perpetually single Jordan Berman and his trio of girl friends as they navigate dating, relationships, and supporting those you love. Performances run from January 24 to February 10th.
The Theater Project Presents 5th Annual One-Act Play Competition
(MAPLEWOOD, NJ) -- Which play will be voted Audience Favorite – the romance, the thriller, or the comedy?  And which author will take the $500 Judge’s Award?
Dreamcatcher Presents World Premiere of "Psychodrama"
(SUMMIT, NJ) -- Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre will present the World Premiere of Psychodrama by Montclair playwright Phoebe Farber. This seriocomedy unfolds in a divorce support group where a new leader introduces unorthodox methods that just might work. Psychodrama runs February 14-March 3.
Centenary Stage Presents Henrik Ibsen's "Enemy Of The People"
(HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) -- Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso headline Centenary Stage Company’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, February 15 through March 3 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center, Hackettstown, New Jersey. Adapted by John Alan Wyatt and directed by Anne Occhiogrosso, the production will feature Randall Duk Kim as Doctor Thomas Stockmann supported by an acting company of professional and local talent from the tri-state area and Centenary University. The full-scale production marks the culmination of the 2018 Gates Ferry Lecture Series: “What is Truth?”


Emmy-Winning South Oranger, Andre Braugher
​​​​​​​“I’m Andre Braugher and I’m here at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, SOPAC, rehearsing a new play by Julia Doolittle called ‘Tell Them I’m Still Young.’”
Laiona Michelle Talks About "Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical"
This might be the right time for Nina Simone—15 years after her death. That’s what Laiona Michelle thinks, and, in a way, Michelle will be testing that idea by bringing the singer-activist to life in a world-premiere musical show at George Street Playhouse. Michelle wrote the show—“Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical”—and she will appear in the title role at the New Brunswick theater from January 29 through February 24.
It's "Apple Season" at NJ Rep
Every family has stories. Some are funny. Some are sweet. Some are sad. And some are never shared. Those are often the most powerful.
Rise of the Goatman
Theater For The New City presents Beltsville/Rockville, Part 1: Rise of the Goatman, an original play by Englewood resident Matt Okin (Artistic Director of Black Box Studios), from December 27 through January 13. In this pseudo-Southern Gothic dark comedy, a vibrant group of teens from two very different suburban neighborhoods clash over class differences, drugs, and sex - and the existence of the legendary ‘Goatman’ in 1986. Cut to 2013, and the adolescent kids of those very same teens are struggling to make sense of their family histories - and the same “mythological” creature - that could be holding them back in life.
PHOTOS from "The Winter's Tale" at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s concludes its 56th season with its sixth and final Main Stage production, The Winter's Tale. Last seen at The Shakespeare Theatre in 2008, Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs this production of Shakespeare’s tragicomedic romance. Veteran company members Jacqueline Antaramian, Jon Barker, Erin Partin, John Keabler, Raphael Nash Thompson,Seamus Mulcahy, Patrick Toon, and Ames Adamson are among a cast of 20 actors. Performances run now through December 30. 






Event calendar
Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019

Sorry, no events listed for today.
Here are some upcoming events.


2019-01-23
Rechnitz Halls DiMattio Gallery, Monmouth University @ 10:00am
West Long Branch

2019-01-23
Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University @ 7:30pm
West Long Branch

2019-01-24
New Jersey Repertory Company @ 8:00pm
Long Branch








 






















For more on our awards, click here








New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.