A! Magazine for the Arts

'Skeleton Crew' is part of Barter's new season

January 28, 2023

Part of Barter Theatre’s commitment to inclusivity (in addition to Black Stories, Black Voices and Shine: Illuminating Black Stories) is a Black-focused play during the 2023 season.

Last year, that play was “The Royale.” This year, the play is “Skeleton Crew.”

Katy Brown, Barter’s producing artistic director, explains, “While Barter has focused on the voices of the Appalachian region for many years, we recognized that there were stories of the region we weren’t hearing and seeing. We wanted to help shine a light on the richness of the Black experience in this region.

“’Skeleton Crew’ is one of the most incredible plays I have ever read. We have been trying to get the rights to do it forquite some time. We knew it would resonate with Barter’s audiences on every level.

“Skeleton Crew is set in Detroit in 2008 as the automotive industry there was faltering. People were going from building cars to living in their cars in short order. People here in Appalachia also have had experiences where the job/industry by which they define themselves changes or closes. The humanity with which this play wrestles with that will be instantly recognizable to an Appalachian audience. It’s an incredibleopportunity for common ground. At least half of the cast will be actors that Barter audiences know, and we get to bring in a couple of new actors for the show as well.

“We hope that the Black Appalachian experience can be shared and celebrated throughout the region and that atruly diverse audience can experience stories and artistry thatresonate for them on our stages. It’s incredibly important to us that this project always grows with the desires and needs of the community.”

For more information about Barter, visit www.bartertheatre.com.