Skeleton Crew

by Dominique Morisseau
Previews September 28 and 29
Opening night September 30
Student matinees October 4 and 11 at 10am
Running through October 29, 2017


The third in Dominique Morisseau’s acclaimed Detroit trilogy, Skeleton Crew is poetic and powerful. Set at the start of the 2008 recession, a makeshift family of workers at the last exporting auto plant in the city navigates the possibility of foreclosure. Power dynamics shift, and the co-workers are pushed to the limits of survival. When the line between blue collar and white collar gets blurred, how far over the line are they willing to step?


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Ella Joyce (Faye)

Ella Joyce is best known and beloved for her television role of Eleanor on TV’s family sitcom “Roc,” which earned her an NAACP nomination. Her TV guest star appearances include the recurring role of Jasmine on “My Wife & Kids,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” and “Seinfeld;” and she co-starred in “Belle‘s” on TVOne. Ella recently appeared in the very dramatic episode “Sparrow” on BET’s “Being Mary Jane.”

Ella’s movie credits include the role of Sarah in Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of A Marriage Counselor, Sister Watkins in Warner Bros.’ popular film Preacher’s Kid, Detective Waller in the popular action film Set It Off, the Nurse in Bubba Ho-Tep, Lucky Girl, Disney’s Selma, Lord Selma, Second Chance Christmas, and Our Family Wedding. Independent video-on-demand films include Forbidden Fruits, Dead of Winter, Uncle P, the hilarious Who Made
the Potato Salad?
and Stranger Inside. She’s also remembered as the young, distraught mother in the classic, multiple award-winning music video of TLC’s “Waterfalls.” Ella appears in the film Nina, based on the life of singer Nina Simone.

Ella works extensively in regional theatre, earning both the Jefferson Award and the Black Theatre Alliance Award (BTAA) for her portrayal of Lily Ann Green in Crumbs From the Table of Joy at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. Ms. Joyce recently performed at The Matrix Theatre in August Wilson’s King Hedley II, directed by Michele Shay. Ms Joyce performed in the world premieres of two August Wilson plays: Two Trains Running, opposite Laurence Fishburne at Yale Repertory Theater, and King Hedley at the O’Reilly Pittsburgh Public Theater. She performed at the Bermuda Arts Festival opposite the legendary Ruby Dee in Ron Milner’s Checkmates. She performed as Rose in Fences; in Neil Simon’s Barefoot In the Park, and in Yolanda King’s Stepping Into Tomorrow at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC; she helped establish this festival as a board member, with the late Larry Leon Hamlin. As a Beinecke Fellow at Yale Repertory School of Drama, Ella was invited to perform in Bossa Nova by Kirsten Greenidge, originating from the Sundance Playwriting Lab in Utah. Her many stage credits have taken her to numerous regional theaters across the country.

As a talented voiceover artist, Ella’s work includes a recent podcast production of Bronzeville, produced by Laurence Fishburne and Larenz Tate. Her books on tape include playing the voice of Zora Neale Hurston in Ron Milner’s Ruby McCollum Story, produced by Susan Lowenberg’s Los Angeles Theater Works. Ella received an NAACP Image Award nomination for BET’s “Storyporch” (the children’s TV reading series).
Ella spent five years touring her own one-woman play A Rose Among Thorns: A Tribute to Rosa Parks to 28 cities around the country, receiving numerous awards, citations, wonderful press reviews, testimonials, and accolades. Her play info is archived at

Ella is a dance enthusiast and has a trademark on “Funkacize,” her own exercise technique based upon soul and funk music and dances from the 60s and 70s.

For more information on the actress, please visit

Ella has received two Spirit Of Detroit awards and is originally from Detroit.

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Brian Taylor (Dez)

Brian is a proud native Metro-Detroiter. Brian’s work includes film, television, commercials, theatre, and voice overs - most recently on Comedy Central’s “Detroiters,” a pilot for Amazon entitled “The Climb,” and a Pizza Hut commercial for ESPN that aired nationally. As a young actor, Brian was trained at Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. He has since developed his craft utilizing the Sanford Meisner method with notable instructor Loretta Grimes of the Red Bud Acting Studio in Ann Arbor, and the Ivanna Chubbuck method with film actress Tasha Smith. Brian is excited to take on the complex role of Dez in the Detroit premiere of Skeleton Crew with Detroit Public Theatre!

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Shawntay Dalon (Shanita)

Shawntay is a born and raised Detroiter. She has graced the stage since the tender age of eight as a dancer, spoken word artist, inspirational speaker, and actor. A writer/director/producer, Shawntay’s short films, feature films, and stage plays have been produced through her company CalienTay Productions, winning an audience and awards along the way. Shawntay plays the recurring role of Chrissy on Comedy Central’s series “Detroiters.” Check her out on Season Two beginning in February 2018.

Skeleton Crew is Shawntay’s sophomore production with Detroit Public Theatre. Last year she played the role of Averie in Colman Domingo’s Dot. Always an admirer of Dominique Morisseau’s work, Shawntay is ecstatic to be back doing what she loves in the city that she loves! For updates and more info on Shawntay, visit


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Brian Marable (Reggie)

Regional—Old Globe Theatre, San Diego: Skeleton Crew (Reggie); Baltimore Center Stage, Detroit Public Theatre: Detroit ‘67 (Sly); Performance Network Theatre: The Mountaintop (Martin Luther King,Jr.), The Piano Lesson (Boy Willie); Purple Rose Theatre Company: Superior Donuts (Franco). Film/ TV—Have a Little Faith (Hallmark Movie), The Citizen (2012, Monterey Media), Low Winter
(AMC), Standing in the Shadows of Motown (James Jamerson). Education— Howard University, Wayne State University. Brian is currently exploring writing for the stage in a collaborative play titled Grow, which looks at marijuana law and property rights, with 4Theatrsake, a Detroit-based theater company. Life credits include father, son, brother, Detroiter.

Creative Team

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Dominique Morisseau (Playwright)

Dominique Morisseau is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle), which includes the following plays: Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company/Scott Rudin), Paradise Blue (Williamstown Theatre Festival), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays include— Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre); Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre) and Follow Me To Nellie’s (Premiere Stages). She is an alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, Women’s Project Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop and has developed work at Sundance Lab and Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference. Her work has been commissioned by the Hip Hop Theater Festival, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Women’s Project, South Coast Rep, People’s Light, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival/Penumbra Theatre. She currently serves as a Co-Producer on the Showtime series “Shameless.” Her new play Pipeline recently completed its run at Lincoln Center, and her new musical Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations is currently running
at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Awards—Stavis Playwriting Award, NAACP Image Award, Spirit of Detroit Award, Weissberger Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper New American Play Prize, TEER Spirit Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, the Samuel French Award for Impact & Activism in the Theatre Community, Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation Prize for Promotion of Human Rights (Blood at the Root), Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama (Detroit ’67), and OBIE Award (Skeleton Crew).

Steve H. Broadnax III (Director)

Steve is currently the Associate Director of Pennsylvania Centre Stage, an Associate Professor of Theatre, and Head of the MFA Graduate Acting Program at Penn State University.

Directing credits include various shows and theatres nationally and internationally including: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Ensemble Studio Theatre Company, Chautauqua Theatre Company, People’s Light, Apollo Theatre (NYC), Classical Theatre of Harlem, Atlantic Theatre (NYC), Detroit Public Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, The Black Theatre Troupe (Phoenix, AZ), Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Moore Theatre (Seattle, WA), Market Theatre (Johannesburg), The Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), National Arts Festival (South Africa), and The Adelaide Arts Festival (Australia).

The Hip Hop Project, an award-winning, full-length original play directed, choreographed, and conceived by Steve, has toured nationally and was showcased at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C. Other writings include American Taboo, another award- winning full-length play, and Camouflage (Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist).

As a member of Actors Equity Association, Steve has toured nationally and internationally and has worked in theatres such as Pennsylvania Centre Stage, St. Louis Black Rep, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, St. Louis Muny, Lincoln Amphitheatre, Westport Playhouse, and Ozark Actors Theatre. BFA Conservatory of Fine Arts Webster University, MFA Penn State University.

Daniel Robinson (Scenic Design)

Daniel Robinson makes his Detroit Public Theatre debut with Skeleton Crew. Recent work includes Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s new play Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine for Penn State Centre Stage and the AUDELCO-nominated The First Noel, produced by the Classical Theatre of Harlem at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theatre. His 30-year design career includes productions for Pennsylvania Centre Stage, The United Solo Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Missouri Repertory Theatre, The American Heartland Theatre, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Mill Mountain Theatre, Seacoast Repertory Theatre, and outreach tours for Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Television design includes the Mid-Atlantic Emmy-winning “Centre Court” with Rene Portland for WPSU Public Television. He serves as Head of Design for The School of Theatre at Penn State University and is a member of United Scenic Artists-Local 829. He holds a BFA from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University and an MFA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Taran Muller Zackrison (Costume Design)

Taran is a freelance costumer and instructor. She has been designing and making costumes since her undergraduate days at the University of Michigan. She has designed costumes for Penn State University, U of M, The Play Group Theatre, and Broadway Workshop. She has created costumes for Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, The Rockettes, Ringling Bros. Circus, The Wiz Live, The Lion King, Wicked, Aladdin, and several other Broadway shows and tours. This is Taran’s first show with Detroit Public Theatre, and she couldn’t be happier to have worked on such a moving show with such a great team!

Aaron Tacy (Lighting Design)

Aaron is a freelance lighting designer based in NYC who spends much of his time designing for and assisting at Spoleto Festival USA, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and IMCD Lighting Inc. Select Off-Broadway credits: Cry Eden, Feeling Blue, The Island Boys, and Sea Legs: A Nautical New Musical. B.F.A. University of Michigan.

Curtis Craig (Sound Design and Composer)

Craig is happy to design for Detroit Public for the first time. He has sound designed and composed Smart People, All The Way, Frankenstein, and Disgraced at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in the past two years. His media and sound work has recently been seen and heard at Chautauqua Theater Company, the world famous Apollo Theater, Classical Theater of Harlem, the Royal Family Performing Arts Center, Clarence Brown Theater, New York Fringe Festival, Watertower Theater, Dallas Theater Center, and Pennsylvania Centre Stage. This past summer, his sound design and composition from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts production of All The Way was awarded the Silver Medal in Sound Design at the World Stage Design Exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan. He previously exhibited his work at World Stage Design Exhibition in Cardiff, Wales, and he won the Gold Medal in Sound Design for Pentecost in 2009 in Seoul, South Korea. He is the head of both the undergraduate program in Theater Design & Technology and the Sound Design program at Penn State University. His work can be seen and heard at

Jeromy Hopgood (Projection Design)

Jeromy is pleased to join the DPT company for his first Detroit show. He brings over a decade of professional work to the stage, having designed scenery, lighting, and projections for professional theatres across the country. Recent Michigan design credits include Williamston Theatre (Outside Mullingar, Taking Shakespeare), Michigan Shakespeare Festival (Julius Caesar, Cymbeline, Hamlet, Richard III), Tipping Point Theatre (The Rainmaker), and Performance Network Theatre (Circle Mirror Transformation). Regional credits include the Lexington Shakespeare Festival in Kentucky, Blowing Rock Stage Company in North Carolina, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts during its Tony Award-winning season.

In addition to his freelance work, Jeromy serves as a Professor of Entertainment Design & Technology at Eastern Michigan University and is the author of QLab 4: Projects in Video, Audio, & Lighting Control and Dance Production: Design & Technology. He also offers a series of master classes on the industry-standard QLab show control software, which he presents in venues across the country.

Jennifer Maiseloff (Props Design)

Jennifer graduated with a MFA in Scenic and Costume Design from The Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts in London, England, and a BFA from College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Selected scenic and prop design: Don’t Dress For Dinner (Tipping Point Theatre), 3C (The Ringwald Theatre), Glengarry Glen Ross (The Ringwald Theatre), MacDeath (Planet Ant Theatre), The Detroit Musical (Planet Ant Hall), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Performance Network Theatre). Thank you so much to Patrick, Steve, Dan, Courtney, and the amazing cast and crew!