Encore Michigan

Detroit Public Theatre announces 2017–2018 season

Season Announcement September 13, 2017

DETROIT—Detroit Public Theatre has announced its schedule of performances for the 2017-18 season. The American playwrights bringing their work to DPT’s stage this season include Noah Haidle, Nilaja Sun, George Brant, and Detroit’s own Dominique Morisseau.

“Our third season will launch in grand style September 28 with a Detroit premiere and concluding with a world premiere,” said Courtney Burkett, one of the trio of producing artistic directors responsible for shaping DPT’s 2017-18 season schedule. “DPT will kick off this season by bringing another play by Dominique Morisseau, Skeleton Crew, home to Detroit. In May of 2018, we will produce our first-ever world premiere, Birthday Candles, by Noah Haidle.”

The third in Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit trilogy, Skeleton Crew, starring Ella Joyce, is set at the start of the 2008 recession, when a makeshift family of workers at the last auto plant in the city navigate the possibility of foreclosure. Birthday Candles will take audiences on an 84 year journey with Ernestine Ashworth as she travels from her 17th birthday through her 101st. This world premiere by was commissioned by Detroit Public Theatre.

In addition to the works of Morisseau and Haidle, DPT will offer audiences the opportunity to experience solo performer Nilaja Sun’s virtuosity in her Detroit debut. Sun will perform two separate works in November. In No Child…, Sun transforms herself with rapid-fire precision into the teachers, students, parents and janitors who inhabit one New York City public school. Pike Street tell the story of a Lower East Side mother who works hard to keep the electricity flowing for her daughter’s respirator while a hurricane looms nearby. As she prepares for disaster, a vibrant host of characters bring new meaning to the phrase “it takes a village.”

The theater will also bring soulful songs and a story of sisterhood to Detroit with a production of the new musical Marie and Rosetta, by George Brant, opening in February of 2018. Referred to by some as the “godmother of rock ‘n’ roll,” Sister Rosetta Tharpe influenced the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash with her fierce guitar playing and unique style of gospel. Marie and Rosetta brings us into Tharpe’s first rehearsal with young protégée Marie Knight before they set out to become one of the great duos in music history.

All performances will take place on the DPT stage inside the Robert A. & Maggie Allesee Hall at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Individual tickets are $35 – $45; discounted rates for juniors (under age 30) and seniors is available. Groups of 10 or more: $25 per ticket. 2017-18 season subscriptions are $140-$180.

For a complete performance schedule, and to purchase tickets, visit www.detroitpublictheatre.org or call (313) 576-5111.

 

The 2017-18 season also includes Detroit Public Theatre’s continuing free city-wide tour of Morisseau’s Detroit ’67 in October. “Producing Dominique’s beautiful play in this unique way – as a tour visiting neighborhoods all across the city of Detroit – feels to us like a profound fulfillment of our theater’s mission to share with audiences relevant theater that illuminates the thrills, joys and challenges of our shared human experience,” says Sarah Clare Corporandy, a producing artistic director. For details on Detroit ’67 free performances, visit www.detroitpublictheatre.org/detroit-67/.