New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Did you know NJ Stage offers FREE Event Listings? Nearly 100,000 listings were viewed in January. Be sure to add your events to our calendar and get your shows noticed!

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




More Articles You Might Like

NJPAC Presents Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies
NJPAC Presents Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies
The Simon & Garfunkel Story Comes To The Basie On January 23
The Simon & Garfunkel Story Comes To The Basie On January 23
East Lynne Theater, the Henry Sawyer Inn, and Twin Gable's Inn present  Murder Mystery Weekends
East Lynne Theater, the Henry Sawyer Inn, and Twin Gable's Inn present Murder Mystery Weekends
"Kinky Boots" Comes To Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
"Kinky Boots" Comes To Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
The Theater Project Presents 5th Annual One-Act Play Competition
The Theater Project Presents 5th Annual One-Act Play Competition
Centenary Stage To Hold Non-Union Open Call Auditions For 2019 Summer Musical Season
Centenary Stage To Hold Non-Union Open Call Auditions For 2019 Summer Musical Season






Event calendar
Saturday, Mar 23, 2019


MUSIC

Earthshare NJ Rocks @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

GEORGE & BRENDA'S ANNIVERSARY BASH @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 12:00pm


LIONEL RICHIE @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

Brute Force & Daughter of Force @ Randy Nows Man Cave, Bordentown - 8:00pm

Diva Moments @ Broad Street United Methodist Church, Burlington - 7:30pm

Janet Gardner LIVE at DingBatz @ Dingbatz, Clifton - 7:00pm

Family Matinee: Tito and the Birds @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 4:30pm

Kashmir: The Live Led Zeppelin Experience @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

Dvořák | Liebermann | Mazzoli @ Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton - 8:00pm

TEN (TRIBUTE TO PEARL JAM) @ Starland Ballroom, Sayreville - 7:00pm

THE GREEN PLANET BAND at LIBERTY TAVERN! @ LIBERTY TAVERN, Staten Island - 6:00pm


Panama Dead @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Mamma Mia @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Native Gardens @ Eagle Theatre, Hammonton - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

The Source by Jack Canfora @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

Sassy Mamas presented by Dunbar Repertory Company @ Middletown Arts Center, Middletown - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

New Jersey Theatre Alliance's Stages Festival @ WheatonArts, Millville - 2:00pm

CURIOUS GEORGE: THE GOLDEN MEATBALL @ The Growing Stage: The Childrens Theatre of New Jersey, Netcong - 4:00pm

FINDING NEVERLAND @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Ken Ludwigs The Gods of Comedy @ Matthews Theatre @ McCarter Theatre, Princeton - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Theo @ Marion Huber Theater @ Two River Theater, Red Bank - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

A Man and His Prostate with Ed Asner @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 2:00pm


COMEDY

Brian Regan @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm


DANCE

Sensory Friendly Theatre: NJ Ballet's SLEEPING BEAUTY @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 2:00pm


KIDS

HudsonWay Immersion Camp FREE FAMILY DAY @ HudsonWay Immersion School, Stirling - 12:00pm

View all events










 






















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.