Skeleton Crew

By Dominique Morisseau
Sept 28 - Oct 29

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?


+ Ella Joyce


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.

+Brian Taylor


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!

+ Shawntay Dalon


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

+ Brian Marable


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 Sun (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

+ 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 JJennifer 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!


No Child...

By Nilaja Sun
Nov 11- Nov 19

Sun transforms herself with rapid-fire precision into the teachers, students, parents and janitors who inhabit one New York City public school. See how one determined woman can change the lives of countless others in this tour de force piece crackling with wit and wisdom.

Pike St.

By Nilaja Sun
Nov 24- Dec 3

On New York’s Lower East Side, a mother 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 brings new meaning to the phrase “it takes a village.” 


+ Nilaja Sun

CNilaja Sun is an actor, playwright, and teaching artist. She recently performed an extended run of the critically acclaimed solo piece Pike St., which was commissioned and produced by Epic Theatre Ensemble and performed at the Abrons Arts Center. This year, a tour of the show started at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in D.C. and has continued to theaters in Minneapolis; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Melbourne, Australia.

Nilaja’s Obie award-winning solo piece No Child... was directed by Hal Brooks and commissioned and produced by Epic Theatre Ensemble. For her creation and performance of No Child... and its subsequent national tour, Nilaja garnered 21 awards including: an Obie Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards (including the John Gassner Playwriting Award for Outstanding New American Play), a Theatre World Award, the Helen Hayes Award, two NAACP Theatre Awards, and was awarded the soloNOVA Award for Artist of the Year by terraNOVA Collective. For Pike St., Nilaja was recently awarded the Edinburgh Award and Ivey Award.

TV/FILM: Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, BrainDead, 30 Rock, Law & Order: SVU, Unforgettable, Louie, The International, and Rubicon.

A native of the Lower East Side, she is a Princess Grace Award recipient and has worked proudly as a teaching artist in New York City for more than 15 years.

Creative Team

+ Hal Brooks

Director - No Child... Hal Brooks is a Brooklyn-based freelance director. He has been Artistic Director of the Cape Cod Theatre Project since 2012, as well as Associate Artistic Director of the Ojai Playwrights Conference since 2010. Recent credits - Regional: Residence (Humana Festival), The Whale (Denver Center), Tigers Be Still (Dallas Theater Center), Six Years (Humana Festival), Be a Good Little Widow (Old Globe). Off Broadway: Nilaja Sun’s No Child..., Will Eno’s Thom Pain (based on nothing), By the Water (Manhattan Theatre Club), Urge for Going (Public Theater), and The Bad Guys (Second Stage). Hal was also the Artistic Director of the Obie Award-winning Pearl Theatre Company. At the Pearl: The Rivals, Uncle Vanya, The Bald Soprano, Don Juan, Figaro, Public Enemy, and The Dingdong. Upcoming: Heisenberg (American Conservatory Theater). Mr. Brooks is a member of LCT Directors Lab, a Drama League Fellow, and a recipient of the NEA/TCG Program for Directors. He has been a lecturer at Yale College since 2010.

+ Ron Russell

Director - Pike St./ Sound Designer - No Child... Ron Russell has co-founded four theatres that still produce today: the nationally- acclaimed Summer Theatre Enrichment Project at El Centro in Lorain, OH (1992); Swine Palace Productions in Louisiana, while receiving his MFA-Directing from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Barry Kyle (1992-1994); UBI Rep Theatre in San Diego (1995); and Epic Theatre Ensemble in 2001. With Epic, where he is Executive Director, he has directed 16 Off-Broadway productions, including world premieres of Kate Fodor’s Hannah and Martin and Vern, Thiessen’s Einstein’s Gift; Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Richard III: Born With Teeth. In other public performances for Epic, he co-adapted and directed a touring in-school Antigone (OBIE Award) and Ibsen’s Pillars of Society (International Ibsen Award, 2011), as well as touring productions of Keith Josef Adkins’ Sugar and Needles and Dominique Morisseau’s Mend. He has also designed sound for award-winning productions of Nilaja Sun’s No Child... (OBIE Award) and Judith Thompson’s Palace of the End. His teaching experience includes over 50 public schools, reaching over 18,000 youth, and his work as an educator in NYC has been recognized by citations from the Municipal Arts Society and Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg.

+ Jessica Gaffney

Costume Design - No Child... Jessica Gaffney earned her Master of Fine Arts in costume and scenery design at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Ms. Gaffney has designed costumes for over 75 theatrical productions for a variety of theatre companies including Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and Regional theatre. Recent credits include Much Ado about Nothing, directed by Christopher Marino for The Alchemical Theatre of Wilmington, and Willy Wonka for the Mill Mountain Theatre. Ms. Gaffney has also designed costumes and scenery for several award-winning film projects.

+ Cletus Karamon

Lighting Designer - No Child... and Pike St. Cletus Karamon is back at home in the Detroit area after being gone for over 25 years. He spent 10 years on Broadway with such shows as: A Bengal Tiger and the Baghdad Zoo (with Robin Williams), Pee Wee Herman on Broadway, 33 Variations (with Jane Fonda), All My Sons (with John Lithgow and Katie Holmes), and Curtains (with David Hyde Pierce), to name a few. Cletus also spent 15 years on the road with 1st National Broadway tours such as Elaine Stritch: at Liberty, ART (with Judd Hirsh), Tallulah (with Kathleen Turner), Kiss Me Kate (with Rachel York and Rex Smith), Bring in Da’ Noise, Bring in Da’ Funk and Jelly’s Last Jam (with Maurice Hine), plus others. He was the lighting supervisor for Damn Yankees, starring Jerry Lewis, on the West End in London. Cletus also worked as the production manager for Miami’s Coconut Playhouses and Parker Playhouse for I Am My Own Wife and Southern Comforted (with Hal Holbrook and Dixie Carter).

+ Clint Ramos

Costume Design - Pike St. Clint Ramos is the recipient of the 2016 Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Play. Notable set/costume designs include the Broadway productions of Eclipsed, The Elephant Man (also West End), and Violet (also with Sutton Foster). He has over 100 regional and international credits. Awards: Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Design, three Lucille Lortel Awards, TDF Irene Sharaff Award, and two American Theater Wing Henry Hewes Awards. Upcoming: In Transit on Broadway, David Byrne’s new musical Joan of Arc: Into the Fire (Public), Kander and Pierce’s Kid Victory (Vineyard).


Marie and Rosetta

by George Brant
February 17- March 11

Referred to by some as the “godmother of rock ‘n’ roll,” Sister Rosetta Tharpe influenced artists like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash with her fierce guitar playing and unique style of gospel. Marie and Rosetta features electrifying music and brings us to Tharpe’s first rehearsal with young protégée Marie Knight before they set out to become one of the great duos in music history. 


+ Carman Cooper


Carman was born and raised in Detroit and has performed as a singer and actress since age 11. Carman received theatre and performance training as a teen in the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, where she participated as one of the Mosaic Singers, performing in many of their original productions. Carman has also performed in many local community theatre productions such as Dreamgirls and Ain’t Misbehavin’. Most recently, she played the lead role of Deloris Van Cartier in the Park Players Detroit’s production of Sister Act. Carman is making her professional debut playing the role of Sister Rosetta Tharpe in the Detroit Public Theatre’s production of Marie and Rosetta. She is excited and counts it an honor to portray such an important figure in rock and roll history.

+Johnique Mitchell


Johnique Mitchell (Marie) was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She received her BFA in acting from Texas State University's theatre program and (as of December 2017) is a graduate of the Penn State University's MFA Acting program. During her grad school experience, she was cast as Olivia in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Marie in Robert O'Hara's Barbeque, and Athena in Mary Zimmerman's Argonautika. She originated the role of Randy in Hansol Jung’s new work Double Think at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa, and the revised Janeece in the premiere of Ruben Santiago Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine at Penn State's Downtown Theatre. In addition to her training at Penn State, she has studied with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England and Shakspeare's The Globe in London, England.

Creative Team

+ George Brant

Playwright George Brant’s plays include Grounded, Elephant’s Graveyard, Marie and Rosetta, Into the Breeches!, The Mourners’ Bench, Any Other Name, Salvage, Grizzly Mama, and Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile. An Affiliate Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, his scripts have been produced internationally by such companies as the Public Theater, the Atlantic Theater Company, Cleveland Play House, Trinity Repertory Company, the Studio Theatre, Alley Theatre, London’s Gate Theatre, Page 73, and the Traverse Theatre. His plays have received a Lucille Lortel Award, an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, the Smith Prize, a Fringe First Award, an Off-West End Theatre Award, an NNPN Rolling World Premiere, the Teatro Netto Festival Grand Prize, a Creative Workforce Fellowship, three OAC Individual Excellence Awards, and the Keene Prize for Literature. George received his MFA in Writing from the Michener Center at UT-Austin and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. He is published by Samuel French, Oberon Books and Smith & Kraus.

+ Courtney Burkett

Director Courtney Burkett is a Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Detroit Public Theatre. Courtney’s DPT directing credits include American Hero, Murder Ballad (Wilde Award Nomination: Best Musical; It’s All Theatre: “Best of Season”), and the touring production of Detroit ’67. Prior to founding DPT, Courtney spent five years as the Director of Theatre Programs at Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, where she trained and mentored hundreds of young actors. Directing credits at Mosaic include The Tempest, Candide, Hastings Street, Lil Ham, and The Crucible. Before Mosaic, Courtney was a founding Artistic Partner with Breathe Art Theatre Project, where she directed and produced many productions and appeared in boom (Winner: The Rogue Critic Best Supporting Actress). Courtney spent two years working at the University of Michigan as the managing director of the CRLT Players. In that position, she oversaw 50 applied theatre performances annually on campuses throughout the country. Courtney also served as the business manager for the University of Detroit Mercy Theatre Company. While at UDM, Courtney taught in the Department of Theatre and directed and performed in Theatre Company productions. Courtney received her BFA from Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts and her MFA from Wayne State’s Hilberry Theatre program.

+ Jamie Reed

Music Director Jamie Reed is an accomplished music director, pianist, arranger, and vocal coach. She holds a music degree in piano performance from Western Michigan University. Music director credits include: Cabaret, Evita, Altar Boyz, Next To Normal, Shrek, Rent, West Side Story, Last Five Years, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Lippa’s The Wild Party. National Tour credits: Wicked, Book of Mormon, Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, South Pacific, and Fiddler on the Roof. After a brief stint in New York, Jamie switched gears to international music directing for Holland America Cruise Line. She has also worked with Jason Robert Brown, Alice Ripley, and Danny Gurwin. Jamie is currently music directing in Metro Detroit, resident music director for Mason Street Warehouse in Saugatuck, Director of Music for Orchard UMC, and vocal coach at Oakland University.

+ Pegi Marshall

Scenic and Props Desgin Marie and Rosetta marks Pegi’s DPT debut. Other credits include: Ford’s Theatre, Washington DC; Imagination Stage, Maryland; Southwest Shakespeare, Arizona; and Hilberry and Bonstelle Theatres, Detroit. In addition to designing, Pegi is a professor and researcher. Her grant and fellowship-awarded creative projects and research include theatre and performance installations and research on theatre design sustainability. They have been presented/performed in several US cities as well as in New Zealand, Serbia, Prague, and Canada. As an artist, Pegi emphasizes sustainability and accessibility, as she believes it is important to be socially responsible to the communities in which we create and share our art. Pegi received her MFA from University of Maryland College Park, and she is a USA 829 Scenic Designer.

+ Christianne Myers

Costume Design Christianne Myers is a freelance costume designer and Associate Professor of Theatre & Drama at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. New York highlights include the Obie Award-winning productions of Music Theatre Group's Running Man and Blue Light's production of Dare Clubb's Oedipus. Other design credits include productions for The Juilliard School, The Vermont Stage Company, The Lincoln Center Institute, The Clarence Brown Theatre, The Syracuse Stage, The Indiana Repertory Theatre, Theatreworks/USA, The Caldwell Theatre, The Irondale Ensemble, Opera Memphis, and The Santa Fe Opera. At U-M, she has designed more than thirty productions, including Henry IV, A Little Night Music, and Caroline, or Change. She is delighted to be back at DPT since designing Dot last season.

+ Cecilia Durbin

Lighting Design At DPT: Murder Ballad, Sex with Strangers; Other Designs: Sense and Sensibility, Love Alone (Playmakers Rep); South Pacific (Triad Stage); Disgraced (Portland Stage Co & Hangar Theatre); The Taming of the Shrew (Chautauqua Theatre); All Shook Up, On Golden Pond (New London Barn Playhouse); Hyena (La MaMa, Edinburgh Fringe, United Solo [Best Lighting]); In the Blood (Theatre Horizon [Barrymore nomination]); Don’t Feed the Indians, Amy Surratt's First & Last (Show) (La Mama); Stranger from Paradise (Opera Omaha); The Life Model (On the Boards); Numb (Goat in the Road Productions, JACK); Lust (HERE Arts Center); Measure for Measure (Epic Theatre Ensemble); We Are Proud to Present a Presentation… (InterAct Theatre), A Soldier’s Tale (The Bushwick Starr/The Puppet Kitchen). MFA from NYU; member USA 829.

+ Tim Franquist

Sound Design Tim Franquist is a 20-year veteran of the concert touring industry. He has worked for and mixed sound for some of the biggest names in music from rock to R&B, funk, soul, and jazz as well as theatrical productions.

+ Neal Wright

Guitar Neal Wright has been playing guitar as a freelance musician in Metro Detroit for the past decade. He graduated from Oakland University in 2015 with his degree in classical guitar performance and is currently pursuing a second degree in electrical engineering. Since 2008, Neal has played almost 100 different productions with a variety of theaters in the Detroit area, including Shrek, Legally Blonde, Fiddler on the Roof, Hairspray, Rent, West Side Story, The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Violet, Jesus Christ Superstar, and many more. An avid student of guitar and its different musical perspectives, Neal enjoys performing in a variety of settings, from pits to nightclubs, and a variety of styles, from classical and jazz to blues and rock.


Birthday Candles

by Noah Haidle
May 12- June 3

Birthday Candles will take audiences on a magical journey with Ernestine Ashworth, from birthday to birthday, as she bakes a life. This world premiere by internationally acclaimed playwright Noah Haidle was commissioned by Detroit Public Theatre.


+ Claire Karpen

Ernestine Ashworth

Broadway: Sylvia. Off-Broadway: Into the Woods (Roundabout/Fiasco); The Heir Apparent (Classic Stage Company); Jack (59E59); At the Table (HERE Arts/Fault Line). Regional: Into the Woods (Old Globe, McCarter); Bedroom Farce (Westport Country Playhouse); Richard III, Much Ado, Tempest, Comedy of Errors (Trinity Rep); The 60's Project (Goodspeed); The Last Five Years (Stamford Center for the Arts). Directing: The Woodsman (New World Stages, 59E59); A Soldier's Tale (Chautauqua); Henry IV, Part I, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, A Little Night Music, Trelawney of the Wells, Actor Presentations (Juilliard). Training: Juilliard.

+ Hallie Bee Bard

Alice, Madeline, Sarah, Ernie

Hallie is honored to be back on the Detroit Public Theatre stage, where she was last seen in the inaugural season as Olivia in Sex With Strangers. Hallie earned her BA from Alma College and was a Purple Rose Theatre apprentice. She has worked with several professional theatres in southeast Michigan and works seasonally as an actor at Greenfield Village, at The Henry Ford. Most recent credits: Gretchen (Boeing Boeing) and Hallie Jackson (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) at Tipping Point Theatre. Hallie is a Reiki Master and mama to three of the most marvelous people on the planet. She is especially thrilled to be able to help create the world of this beautiful play with such a fine group of people. Thanks to Vivienne and the DPT trinity for the opportunity, to Noah for dreaming up this gorgeous gem, and to James, whom I love the most. And thank YOU for supporting live, professional theatre. ## + Dani Cochrane Donna, Joan, Alex, Beth

Dani is excited to be making her DPT debut! Recent credits include: Kayleen in Gruesome Playground Injuries with Kickshaw Theatre, Girolama in Our Lady of Poison at Williamston Theatre, and Gloria in Boeing Boeing at Tipping Point Theatre. She holds an MFA from the Hilberry Repertory Program at Wayne State University. She wants to thank her husband and daughter for always helping her keep a sense of play in everything she does, all the wonderful folks at DPT for this amazing opportunity, and you, for supporting local theatre!

+ Chris Corporandy

Billy, John

Chris makes, with Birthday Candles, his second appearance on the DPT stage (Adam, Dot) and second collaboration with Ms. Benesch (Tybalt, The Romeo & Juliet Project, Chautauqua Institution). A graduate of the Hilberry (Translations, Side Man, The Master Builder), Chris has worked regionally in Buffalo; Atlanta, at Actors' Express (recipient of the Suzi Bass Award for Supporting Actor, The Judas Kiss); Minneapolis; San Francisco; and in New York (Cherry Lane, The Public, ARS Nova). Chris also works extensively as a voice, speech, and dialect coach (DPT, Tipping Point Theatre, Hilberry Theatre, Alliance Theater, Chautauqua Theater Co) and is on faculty at Wayne State University and College for Creative Studies. BFA Acting - NYU/Tisch, MFA Acting - WSU/Hilberry, Moscow Art Theatre School, Trinity College Dublin. Certified Teacher/Coach of Knight-Thompson Speech Work. Member of Actors’ Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and VASTA. Grateful to you, and you, and efinitely you.

+ Michael Brian Ogden


Michael is so excited to be making his Detroit Public Theatre debut. Many thanks to all the wonderful collaborators in this process, and endless love to Steph and Lily. Enjoy the show!

+ Daniel Pearce


Broadway: Machinal, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Off-Broadway: Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Ping Pong, Henry V (twice), Henry VI, Measure for Measure, Loves' Fire (Public), The Most Deserving (Women's Project), Falling (Minetta Lane), Passion Play (Epic), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Irish Rep), among others. Regional: Blood and Gifts (La Jolla Playhouse), Ctrl+Alt+Delete (George St), Underneath the Lintel (Geva), among others. International: Loves' Fire (Barbican Centre, London). Film/TV: Murder of a President, Salt, Clowns, Godzilla, "Law & Order (all varieties)," "Chapelle's Show," "Damages," "Queens Supreme." MFA from NYU. 2017 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow.

Creative Team

+ Noah Haidle

Playwright Noah Haidle is a playwright and screenwriter whose work has been produced off- Broadway, regionally, and around the world. His most recent play, Everything Beautiful, premiered last October at Munich’s Residenz Theater, and he is currently the playwright in residence of the National Theater of Mannheim, a position first held by Friedrich Schiller.

His plays are published by Methuen in London, Suhrkamp in Berlin, Nordiska in Copenhagen, and in New York by Dramatists Play Service and Overlook Press. He was a proud resident of Detroit for four years before moving to Los Angeles with his wife and pet bunnies to write on Showtime’s upcoming series ‘Kidding,’ starring Jim Carrey and directed by Michel Gondry, and to develop a series set in Detroit for HBO. Haidle is a graduate of Princeton University and The Juilliard School, where he was a three-time winner of Lincoln Center’s Le Compte du Nuoy award.

+ Vivienne Benesch

Director ivienne is in her second season as a company member and Producing Artistic Director at PlayMakers Repertory Company. For 12 seasons, she served as Artistic Director of the renowned Chautauqua Theater Company and Conservatory, presiding over the company’s transformation into one of the best summer theatres and most competitive summer training programs in the country. She directed over fifteen productions at CTC, including an acclaimed re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet featuring the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Theatre, Opera, and Dance companies. She brought CTC’s production of Amadeus, performed with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic, to the Virginia Arts Festival, featuring PlayMakers company member Ray Dooley. She has helmed productions of Leaving Eden, Mr. Joy, The May Queen, Three Sisters, Love Alone, RED, and In The Next Room for PlayMakers, directed extensively for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and directed The Heidi Chronicles for Trinity Repertory Company. As an actress, Vivienne has worked on and off Broadway, in film and television, and at many of the country’s most celebrated theatres. She has appeared with Gene Wilder, Al Pacino and Blythe Danner, performed with Maggie Smith in the London revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady from Dubuque, and received an OBIE Award for her performance in Lee Blessing’s Going to St. Ives. Vivienne is a graduate of Brown University and NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. As an educator, she has directed for and served on the faculty of some of the nation’s foremost actor training programs, including The Juilliard School, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Professional Actor Training Program, Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program and at her alma mater, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. Vivienne also holds a BA from Brown University.

+ Michael Carnahan

Scenic Design Detroit Public Theatre—Detroit ‘67. Off-Broadway—Atlantic Theater Company: Skeleton Crew ; 59E59: I and You; Second Stage: The Happiest Song Plays Last; Signature Theatre: The Piano Lesson, The First Breeze of Summer, Life Could Be A Dream, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Three Mo’ Tenors, Pygmalion, Howie the Rookie, Brando. Tours—Cheers, Live On Stage; A Christmas Story The Musical. Regional—credits include Kennedy Center, Apollo Theater, Arena Stage, American Conservatory Theater, The Kennedy Center, McCarter Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse, Two River Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Cape Playhouse, Cape Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Northlight Theatre, Signature Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse, Arsht Center, Musical Theatre West, San Jose Repertory, Center Rep. Instagram: carnypics Twitter: @mike_carnahan

+ Shelby Newport

Costume Design Shelby Newport is the resident costume designer, department chair and an associate professor at the University of Michigan-Flint. She received her M.F.A. from Purdue University and completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell College. She designs regionally at Tipping Point Theatre, Kickshaw Theatre, and Flint Youth Theatre, and she is a resident artist at Purple Rose Theatre Company. Her designs have been seen internationally in London and Margate, England. Last summer, Shelby worked on a collaborative production with Detroit Public Theatre and the University of Michigan-Flint of Public Enemy: Flint and is excited to now be designing the costumes for her first production at Detroit Public Theatre. You can see more of Shelby's work at

+ Cecilia Durbin

Lighting Design At DPT: Marie and Rosetta, Murder Ballad, Sex with Strangers; Other Designs: Sense & Sensibility, Love Alone (Playmakers Rep); South Pacific (Triad Stage); Disgraced (Portland Stage Co & Hangar Theatre); The Taming of the Shrew (Chautauqua Theatre); Sex & Other Disturbances (Portland Stage Co), The Little Red Fish (NYC Children's Theatre), All Shook Up, On Golden Pond (New London Barn Playhouse); Hyena (La MaMa, Edinburgh Fringe, United Solo [Best Lighting]); In the Blood (Theatre Horizon [Barrymore nomination]); Martyrs, Don’t Feed the Indians, Amy Surratt's First & Last (Show) (La Mama); Stranger from Paradise (Opera Omaha); The Life Model (On the Boards); Numb (Goat in the Road Productions, JACK); Lust (HERE Arts Center); Measure for Measure (Epic Theatre Ensemble); We Are Proud to Present a Presentation…(InterAct Theatre), A Soldier’s Tale (The Bushwick Starr/The Puppet Kitchen). MFA from NYU; member USA 829.

+ Kate Hopgood

Sound Design Kate is a Michigan-based composer and sound designer. Her recent work has been heard at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival (garnering multiple Wilde Award nominations) and at Chicago's Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (for the Equity, Jeff-nominated production, Wrens and The Electric Baby). In addition, Kate's sound designs are featured in QLab 3 Show Control: Projects for Live Performances and Installations published by Focal Pres.

+ Pegi Marshall

Props Design Marie and Rosetta marked Pegi’s DPT debut. Other credits include: Ford’s Theatre, Washington DC; Imagination Stage, Maryland; Southwest Shakespeare, Arizona; and Hilberry and Bonstelle Theatres, Detroit. In addition to designing, Pegi is a professor and researcher. Her grant and fellowship-awarded creative projects and research include theatre and performance installations and research on theatre design sustainability. They have been presented/performed in several US cities as well as in New Zealand, Serbia, Prague, and Canada. As an artist, Pegi emphasizes sustainability and accessibility, as she believes it is important to be socially responsible to the communities in which we create and share our art. Pegi received her MFA from University of Maryland College Park, and she is a USA 829 Scenic Designer.