Continuing a season full of critically acclaimed productions, sold out shows, and added performances (Working: a Musical, Every Brilliant Thing, and Native Gardens), Farmers Alley Theatre is proud to bring the electrifying Skeleton Crew to Southwest Michigan audiences this March.

Detroit, Michigan. 2008. What do you do when the industry that has supported you, your family, and your entire region threatens to close up and go away?In the breakroom of the last small auto plant still standing, a makeshift family of workers swap stories, share dreams, and take pride in their work. When confronted with the possibility of the factory closing, power dynamics shift and each is pushed to the limits of survival.

This gripping play explores how loyalties and survival collide when a world — our world — changes. Inspired by August Wilson’s Century Cycle, Dominique Morisseau’s bold and compassionate new play is part of The Detroit Project play cycle. It is poetic and powerful.

Bringing this production to life is a superb cast of performers. Farmers Alley Theatre is thrilled to welcome back critically-acclaimed actor Dwandra Nickole Lampkin as Faye. Dwandra, also a professor at Western Michigan University, was previously seen in Farmers Alley Theatre’s productions of The Christians, Clybourne Park, and Doubt, A Parable. Her one-woman show The Conviction of Lady Lorraine was also produced by the theatre. Joining her are WMU graduate Jessica Krolik as Shanita, Detroit based performer and activist Dan Johnson as Reggie, and local actor Xavier D. Bolden as Dez. 

This regional premiere production is helmed by guest director Dee Dee Batteast. Also a writer, actor, and professor at Ball State University, Dee Dee returns to Farmers Alley for Skeleton Crew, having previously directed the theatre’s productions of The Revolutionists and The Conviction of Lady Lorraine.

Dee Dee says, “Skeleton Crew spoke to me in the way it explores the heartbeat beneath every city in the aptly named “Rust Belt.” Centered around the death of the auto industry in Detroit Michigan, it is the story of so many different things — of a struggling “chosen family” facing the crumbling infrastructure of their livelihood and community, of outrageous courage in the face of change, and of the unmatched love, perseverance and determination of the Midwestern spirit. In a world obsessed with the stories of who owns this country and who runs this country, this is a tale about who built this country and what they are owed in return. It asks us to reflect on who we are and what we value and reminds us that our most precious commodity is one another and hope.”

Farmers Alley Theatre’s Executive Director Robert Weiner adds, “Farmers Alley Theatre is honored to be presenting the work of famed Michigan playwright, Dominique Morisseau with Skeleton Crew. Being from the Detroit area, Ms. Morisseau has a keen insight into the lives of Michigan's auto workers, and that shows in her insightful and sharp dialogue and fully fleshed-out characters. Theatergoers looking for an entertaining and meaningful night at the theatre won't want to miss this Tony Winning play.”

Skeleton Crew was written by award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau. One of American Theatre Magazine’s most produced playwrights of 2023-2024, Morisseau is a profound and important voice in modern American theatre. Skeleton Crew forms part of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle) alongside the equally renowned Paradise Blues and Detroit ‘67. She is also the Tony-nominated book writer on the new Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations. Skeleton Crew is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

Skeleton Crew runs for just two weekends from March 7 to March 17, 2024. Tickets start at $40. $10 rush tickets are offered for all performances starting 1 hour prior to curtain (subject to availability, theatergoers must be present at the box office). Student ticket pricing is $15 for all shows. Preview performance tickets on Thursday, March 7th are $25. Tickets are available for purchase at or by calling the Box Office at (269) 343-2727.