Watch CBS News

Now On Broadway, 'Skeleton Crew' Tells The Story Of Everyday People Society Often Takes For Granted

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A play first seen Off-Broadway is now on Broadway and playing to a bigger audience.

"Skeleton Crew" co-stars Phylicia Rashad as a factory worker.

Rashad, a Tony Award winner, is "Faye," a longtime worker and union leader at a Detroit auto stamping plant on the brink of closing, CBS2's Maurice Dubois reported.

"She is devoted and committed to her work and fellow workers and life is changing," Rashad said.

But Faye has secrets.

Plant employees are making life work despite struggles, only to face a failing auto industry.

Brandon Dirden is "Reggie," one of the supervisors.

"I think what we're putting on stage really is that mirror up to society and say are we valuing ourselves," Dirden said.

The cast credits playwright Dominique Morisseau with showing the humanity and dignity at the heart of the play. Morisseau, a Detroit native, has written several plays about her hometown.

"I try to give voice and visibility to the people that I know, to the honest human dilemmas that we face as people, but also with the resilience we have as people," Morriseau said. "This play is really about standing up for working people, that they be treated fairly to do the work that they do, because everybody's work and everybody's labor matters and I believe in that."

"I think what's she's really doing is not just writing a love letter, but writing a missive and a central statement of her roots," Dirden added.

Most people would look at it and recognize its simplicity, but there's nothing simple about these people, nothing simple about this story. It shows the complexity of the inter-connectiveness of all of us.

"I feel it's an opportunity to explore, to discover, to reveal things about blue collar workers in this country that people do take for granted at times," director Ruben Santiago-Hudson said.

Two-time Tony winner Santiago-Hudson said he decided music and movement would work to visualize the factory floor.

"Music is life machinery and machinery is like music. There is a constant hum. My take is to enlighten and bring energy to the workers, to embody the workers, to embody the factory," choreographer Adesola Osakalumi said.

Joshua Boone said he easily connects to his character "Dez."

"My upbringing, my life, my family. I know you all would love people, and that's what makes it work hard and easy. What's the now sort of like to know how real this story could be," Boone said.

Film and TV star Chante Adams makes her Broadway debut in "Skeleton Crew" as "Shanita." Adams is also a native of Detroit.

"Shanita has a lot to think about and has a lot on the line, with the factory and its impending status," Adams said. "We're highlighting and humanizing a group of people that our audience quite frankly don't interact with every day."

"Skeleton Crew" opens Wednesday night at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on West 47th Street and runs through Feb. 20.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.