Encore Michigan

Matrix and Break The Chain present the R&J Project 2/10-2/26

Show Announcement January 18, 2023

DETROIT, January 10, 2023…Matrix Theatre Company presents its second 2022-2023 Mainstage Theatre production, the world premiere of the R&J Project, by local playwright Craig Ester, in partnership with Break the Chain Theatre Company, opening February 10th and running through February 26, Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM and Sundays at 3PM. All performances are presented at Matrix Theatre Company, located at 2730 Bagley Avenue in the heart of Mexicantown. Tickets are $22 for adults and $17 for students, seniors, veterans, and active military personnel, and may be purchased in advance or, if available, at the door. Group rates are also available. For further information or to purchase tickets, visit www.matrixtheatre.org or call (313) 967-0999.

The R&J Project follows the cast and director of the First Baptist Church’s Drama Club production of Romeo and Juliet – both backstage and onstage. Together they share the joy, pain, and triumph of working together to conquer Shakespeare’s words as Alex, the play’s director, helps them understand its relevance to their own lives. As a person of color, Alex discovers its importance to her life as well. She’s grateful to those who exposed her to this classical art form, free of assumptions, and learns to understand her own reason for loving it.

“It’s critical that we present shows which include BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ representation in order to make theatre feel more accessible,” said Matrix Director of Productions Marisa Dluge. “We want everyone to see themselves on our stage, and this play accomplishes that.”


Written and directed by Break the Chain Theatre’s Craig Ester, who is thrilled to be collaborating with Matrix Theatre on the world premiere of his newest project, the playfeatures a diverse cast of actors who include Laketa Caston of XXXXX as Alex, Faith Berry of XXXXX as Chyna, Alice Duffy of XXXX as Lena, Jalen Wilson-Nelem of XXXX as Chris and Cassius Merriweather of XXXX as Tyler.

The final dress rehearsal on Thursday, February 29 is a “Pay What You Can” performance. To help eliminate the barrier between audiences and live theatre, patrons can choose to pay whatever amount they want at the door to see the preview show of the R&J Project. Tickets will be available at the door that evening or can be purchased in advance by calling the box office at 313-967-0999. Doors open at 7:30PM for the 8PM performance.

In its 31st season as a non-profit, community-based theatre, Matrix Theatre Company is located in southwest Detroit and uses the transformative power of theatre to change lives, build community, and

foster social justice. Go to matrixtheatre.org for further information. Matrix Theatre Company’s Mainstage Season is funded in part by Michigan Arts and Culture Council, the National Endowment
for the Arts, The Kresge Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, and The Fred A. and Barbara M.
Erb Foundation.

About Break the Chain Theatre Company

Established in November 2021, Break the Chain Theatre Company’s mission is to create and facilitate the creation of theatre that is diverse, empathetic, and culturally impactful. They will achieve this by creating high-quality professional live theatre and arts education programs to serve the City of Detroit and those who are traditionally underrepresented onstage in the theatre community.

Week of 2/6/2023

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