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MTC's SKELETON CREW announces additional casting
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 08:11 pm EDT 10/04/21

Casting Announced for
Skeleton Crew

Chanté Adams,
Brandon J. Dirden, Adesola Osakalumi
Join Previously Announced
Tony Award Winner Phylicia Rashad

Broadway Premiere by Tony Award Nominee Dominique Morisseau

Directed by Tony Award Winner
Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Performances Begin Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Opening Wednesday, January 12, 2022
At MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow , Artistic Director and Barry Grove, Executive Producer) is pleased to announce casting for Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway premiere of Skeleton Crew. The cast will feature Chanté Adams (A Journal for Jordan), Brandon J. Dirden (MTC's Jitney), Adesola Osakalumi (Fela!) and joining previously announced Tony Award® winner and five-time Emmy Award nominee Phylicia Rashad (A Raisin in the Sun). Skeleton Crew is written by Tony Award nominee Dominique Morisseau and directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

Skeleton Crew will begin performances Tuesday, December 21, 2021 and open Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).

Tony Award winner and five-time Emmy Award nominee Phylicia Rashad will return to Broadway this winter in Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway premiere of Skeleton Crew, written by Tony Award nominee Dominique Morisseau and directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson. In 2008 Detroit, a small automotive factory is on the brink of foreclosure, and a tight knit family of workers hangs in the balance. With uncertainty everywhere, the line between blue collar and white collar becomes blurred, and this working family must reckon with their personal loyalties, their instincts for survival and their ultimate hopes for humanity. The New York Times gives this astonishing work a Critic's Pick and cheers, "A very fine new play… warm-blooded, astute, deeply moral and deeply American." The Amsterdam News hails it as "a prime example of how theatre imitates life… intense, touching and funny."

The creative team for Skeleton Crew includes Michael Carnahan (sets), Rui Rita (lighting), Rob Kaplowitz (original music and sound design), Nicholas Hussong (projection design), Adesola Osakalumi (choreography), Kamra A. Jacobs (production stage manager).

Additional casting and members of the design team will be announced soon.

The safety and peace of mind of all theatregoers, artists and staff are MTC's top priorities. During the months the theatres were dark, MTC has been working diligently with air-quality experts at both of their venues, Broadway's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre and Off-Broadway's NY City Center Stage I to ensure the highest air quality through enhanced ventilation systems. MTC has also instituted rigorous cleaning and disinfection protocols before and after each performance. All measures will be taken to maintain the theatres responsibly.

For current protocols and COVID 19 test requirements, visit: ManhattanTheatreClub.com/protocols.

MTC SUBSCRIPTIONS AND PATRON MEMBERSHIPS
Subscriptions to MTC's new season of plays are now available by calling Subscriber Services at 212-399-3050 or going to www.Manhattantheatreclub.com/subscribe.

To sign up for MTC's "30 Under 35" program, offering $30 tickets for theatregoers age 35 and under, visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com/30under35/.

Tickets for Skeleton Crew are available online at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200, or in person at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre box office (261 West 47th Street).

BIOGRAPHIES
Chanté Adams (Shanita). With an award-worthy and captivating lead role performance in the Denzel Washington-directed film A Journal for Jordan (Christmas 2021), Chanté Adams is poised to be Hollywood's most talked-about star. In 2020, Chanté gave an "extraordinarily fresh performance" (Variety) and was the "best performance in the film" (The Hollywood Reporter) for her captivating portrayal of Christina in Universal's The Photograph. Her ascension into Hollywood's A-list actress club started back in 2017 when Chanté was the recipient of the Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Performance at that year's Sundance Film Festival. She received that honor for her powerful depiction of 80's hip-hop pioneer Roxanne Shante in Netflix's Roxanne, Roxanne. In 2018, Chanté starred opposite John David Washington in the feature film Monsters and Men and was also seen in Justin Simien's Bad Hair. That year, Vanity Fair also included her as one of nine "Stars to Watch" in their September Issue. She is currently in production on the highly anticipated Amazon series A League of Their Own; a re-imagining of the original 1992 film. On stage, Chanté starred in Ruben Santiago-Hudson's adaptation of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at Two River Theatre in 2016.

Brandon J. Dirden (Reggie) starred on Broadway as 'Booster' in the Tony Award-winning revival of August Wilson's Jitney and as 'Martin Luther King, Jr.' in the Tony Award-winning production of All the Way, with Bryan Cranston. Additional Broadway credits include Clybourne Park, Enron, and Prelude to a Kiss. Off-Broadway, he has appeared in The Piano Lesson, for which he won Obie, Theatre World, and AUDELCO awards; The First Breeze of Summer and Day of Absence at Signature Theatre; Detroit '67 at the Public Theater and Classical Theatre of Harlem; Peter and the Starcatcher at New York Theatre Workshop and as 'Brutus' in TFANA's production of Julius Caesar. On screen he has appeared in The Good Wife, Evil, The Big C, Public Morals, Manifest, The Get Down, The Accidental Wolf, Blue Bloods, The Quad, For Life, the FX miniseries Mrs. America and on four seasons of The Americans as 'Agent Dennis Aderholt.' He has directed numerous plays by Dominique Morriseau and August Wilson. Brandon is a frequent volunteer at the 52nd Street Project, on the faculty of the NYU Grad Acting program and a proud member of Actors' Equity Association and Fair Wage on Stage.

ADESOLA OSAKALUMI (Choregrapher/Dancer). Broadway: Fela!; Equus . Off-Broadway: runboyrun, Syncing Inc, Jam on the Groove. National Tour: Fela! Regional: Syncing Ink (Alley Theater), In Your Arms (Old Globe Theater & Powerhouse Theater). Film: Red Pill, Isn't It Romantic, Ibrahim, Sex and The City 2, Enchanted, Across the Universe, Idlewild, The Accidental Husband. TV: "Ice." Choreographer/Movement Director: Cullad Wattah, Coal Country, Othello (The Public Theater), Good Grief (Vineyard Theater), Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater) School of Rock (Paramount Pictures), Jam On The Groove (Minettta Lane Theater, Drama Desk Nominee). He is thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking production once again with Ruben & Dominique! He gives thanks to the Creator, his Ori, Ancestors, his family Jill Vallery, Okanjobi Osakalumi, Baba & Iya for all the guidance and support. To all friends on this ride with me: Love & E se! Lakey & Thomas at Lakey Wolff & Co, thank you again. Grateful. Onward. www.adesola.com

PHYLICIA RASHAD (Faye), an accomplished actress and stage director, became a household name when she portrayed Claire Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," a character whose enduring appeal has earned numerous awards and honors for over two decades. Her film and television credits include: A Fall From Grace, Creed and Creed II, For Colored Girls, Soul, Jingle Jangle, and Black Box; "This is Us" (two Emmy nominations), "David Makes Man," and "Empire." Inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2016, Ms. Rashad received Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her performance as Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, the Lucille Lortel Award for her performance as Shelah in Head of Passes, and a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Ester in August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean. Ms. Rashad has directed plays by August Wilson (Gem of the Ocean, Fences, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Joe Turner's Come and Gone), Stephen Adly Guirgis (Our Lady of 121st Street), and Paul Oakley Stovall (Immediate Family) at prestigious regional and off-Broadway theaters. Rashad was recently appointed Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University.

DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU (Playwright) is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle): Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit '67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays include: Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theater), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre), Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre), and Follow Me To Nellie's (Premiere Stages). She is also the Tony-nominated book writer on the Broadway musical Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations (Imperial Theatre). TV/Film projects: She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series "Shameless." She's currently developing projects with Netflix, HBO, and A24, and wrote the film adaptation of the documentary STEP for Fox Searchlight. Awards include: Spirit of Detroit Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper Prize, TEER Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Audelco Awards, NBFT August Wilson Playwriting Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, OBIE Award (2), and the Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, named one of Variety's Women of Impact for 2017-18 and a recipient of the 2018 MacArthur Genius Grant.

RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON (Director / MTC Artistic Advisor). Tony, Drama Desk, and Obie Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson is the director of the recent Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of August Wilson's Jitney which garnered several awards including the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League, and the NY Drama Critics Circle Awards, along with six Tony nominations. Mr. Santiago-Hudson won a Tony Award as featured actor for his performance in August Wilson's Seven Guitars and later went on to direct the play himself to critical acclaim. Other directing credits include: The Piano Lesson, Skeleton Crew, Othello, Gem of The Ocean, Paradise Blue, My Children! My Africa!, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Cabin in the Sky, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Two Trains Running, Things of Dry Hours, The First Breeze Of Summer, and Your Blues Ain't Sweet Like Mine, among many others. He made his Broadway acting debut alongside Gregory Hines in Jelly's Last Jam. Other Broadway credits include Lackawanna Blues, Stick Fly and Gem of The Ocean. The multi-award winning director and actor most recently adapted August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom for producer Denzel Washington and NETFLIX starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman. Ruben wrote, executive produced, and co-starred in the HBO film Lackawanna Blues based on his OBIE Award-winning play. The movie received several honors including Emmy, Golden Globe, NAACP Image Award, Humanitas, National Board of Reviews, Black Filmmaker's Foundation and Christopher Awards. Recently, Ruben co-starred in BET's drama The Quad and played the role of Captain Roy Montgomery on the hit show Castle for three seasons on ABC. Ruben currently co-stars in Tarell Alvin McCraney's new series David Makes Man for Oprah Winfrey's OWN network. Ruben has been seen in over three dozen movies. Among his favorites are Lackawanna Blues, American Gangster, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Coming to America, Forgotten Genius, and The Devil's Advocate. Ruben earned his MFA in acting from The Hillberry Classical Repertory Theater at Wayne State University, his BA in theatre from Binghamton University, and he also holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from both Wayne State University and Buffalo State College. In a career that spans over four decades, Ruben considers opening The Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center in 2014 in his hometown of Lackawanna, NY as one of his proudest and most cherished accomplishments.

MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over more than four decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including 7 Pulitzer Prizes, 27 Tony Awards, 40 Drama Desk Awards and 49 Obie Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com .

Manhattan Theatre Club is committed to being an anti-racist organization that respects and honors all voices while upholding the values of community, equity, access, and belonging. We understand that the United States is a country founded on white supremacy and anti-Blackness, and that these belief systems are tightly woven throughout American arts and culture. We recognize MTC's place within that history, and understand that uprooting biases requires ongoing work. To this end, we have been reviewing, and are continuing to review, our policies and practices in order to create an inclusive, anti-racist environment for our artists, staff members, and audiences. We wish to express solidarity with and gratitude towards those from historically oppressed communities whose voices have raised consciousness and encouraged action. We will continue to post regular progress reports on our website at manhattantheatreclub.com/edi .

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