Sep 20 – Oct 14 2018
FINAL WEEK OF PERFORMANCES!
Photo (c) John McLellan. From left to right: Charles Wright, Tracy Michelle Hughes.
“With a compelling story and a killer cast, ArtsWest has produced another winner…This is a story that needs to be told. The only question is if we are ready to listen.” – Broadway World
By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Jay O’Leary
OBIE and Steinberg Playwright Award-winning playwright
Time Magazine – 10 Best Shows of 2016
In the depths of the 2008 Great Recession, rumors of shutdown start to spread at one of Detroit’s last auto-stamping plants, forcing a tight-knit family of workers to face a devastating question: what will you sacrifice to survive? In the spirit of August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau’s bold and compassionate new play lays bare the trials of the human spirit with verve, wit, and an electrifying voice of uncommon poetry.
“Clifford Odets’ dramas come to mind and so does the great Pittsburgh cycle of August Wilson. But Skeleton Crew is squarely in the tradition of Arthur Miller…A deeply moral and deeply American play.” – The New York Times (Critic’s Pick)
“A social observer of invigorating insight, [Morisseau] reveals a knack in this absorbing comedy-drama for nuanced accounts of the travails of blue-collar men and women and the questionable choices that illuminate their complicated lives.” – The Washington Post
Runtime is approx. 2 hours 10 minutes with a 10 minute intermission.
Next in the Season: Jane Eyre >
Jun 07 – Jul 08 2018
CLOSING WEEKEND! Two productions in rotating repertory:
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and Hedwig and the Angry Inch
LADY DAY AT emerson’s bar and grill
by Lanie Robertson
Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill paints a stirring portrait of jazz legend Billie Holiday as she performs one of her last solo concerts, four months before her death. Packed with the music that made her both a legend – “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”, “God Bless the Child” – and a cultural flashpoint – “Strange Fruit” – Lady Day tells an intimate story of a complex woman through reminisces, confessions, and unforgettable music.
Thursdays & Saturdays at 7:30pm | GET TICKETS
Note: this production features the use of water-based haze.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Book by John Cameron Mitchell
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Trask
Directed by Mathew Wright
The off-Broadway smash-hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the electrifying story of Hedwig, a German emigrant who suffered a botched sex-change operation, as she travels the country in hopeless romantic pursuit of her former lover. First a hit on stage and again on screen, John Cameron Mitchell’s hard-rock tale of transformation has earned critical acclaim and a legion of fans across the world.
Fridays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm / GET TICKETS
Note: this production features the use of water-based haze and strobe effects.
ArtsWest has been transformed for Hedwig and Lady Day! With 10 Cabaret Tables on the floor and backed barstools on houses right and left, you can be truly transported into the world of Lady Day‘s 1950s nightclub or Hedwig’s modern-day rock hideout.
The backed barstools on houses right and left are separated by a cozy table – for patrons coming to the show as a pair, pick seats on either side of the table (represented on the seating chart as a blocked seat) and you’re all set for an unforgettable evening.
Practical Questions of Wholeness
Both Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and Hedwig and the Angry Inchare powerful, penetrating portraits of performers as they grapple with their identity through music. The title of the repertory pairing – Practical Questions of Wholeness, a line from Hedwig – speaks to the search both artists undertake to trace the fault lines, and find the missing pieces, to their fractured senses of self.
Presented in rotating repertory
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill will be performed Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30pm; Hedwig and the Angry Inch will be performed Fridays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm. In this rotating repertory arrangement, performances happen on alternating days on the same set, giving audiences the opportunity to see first-hand how performance and storytelling completely transform a space.
Note: this production features the use of water-based haze.
Co-sponsor: The Hansberry Project
Apr 19 – May 13 2018
Lamar Legend. Photo by John McLellan.
April 19 – May 13
By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Brandon J. Simmons
In 1859, the handsome George arrives as heir apparent to Terrabonne, his late uncle’s slave plantation. There he quickly falls in love with Zoe, a beautiful “octoroon” – someone who is one-eighth Black – but the evil overseer M’Closky has other plans for both Terrebonne and Zoe. Nothing is sacred in this genre-bending work: race, identity and time are bent by the whims of AN OCTOROON’s audacious storytelling. Racial stereotypes both past and present are shattered in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ bold, imaginative re-envisioning of a 19th century antebellum drama as an urgent message for today.
Winner – 2014 OBIE Award for Best New American Play
“Super oxygenating—despite moments of palpable fear and disquiet, we leave feeling somehow healthier, as though the theater has given us a violent shake and a pep talk.” —Time Out (New York)
*Content note: this production features strong and racially charged language, depictions of violence, suggestive content, sudden and very loud noises, water-based haze, and strobe effects.
Feb 28 – Mar 25 2018
February 28 – March 25
By Taylor Mac
Co-produced with Intiman Theatre
Directed by Jennifer Zeyl
Somewhere in the suburbs, Isaac has returned from the wars to help take care of his disabled father, only to enter a different warzone: a household in revolt. His mother, liberated from an abusive marriage – with Isaac’s newly out transgender sibling as her ally – is on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy. But in Taylor Mac’s sly, subversive comedy HIR, annihilating the past doesn’t always free you from it.
“…sensational—in all senses of the word…[an] audacious and uproarious black comedy…Mac has his own gloriously skewed vision of the toxins fouling the American family from within, and in its avowedly loopy way HIR reflects current concerns about the decline of the middle class, as well as the trauma war veterans endure…brilliant writing…” —New York Times
*Note: Hir features the use of strong language, violent content, loud noises and pulsating lights.
Runtime is approximately 2 hours 10 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
All Talkbacks are free for ticket holders to that evening’s performance of HIR, and take place in the theatre after the performance.