Center Stage Announces Cast, Creative Team for DETROIT '67

Center Stage announces the cast and creative team for Dominique Morisseau's Detroit '67, which after closing Center Stage's 2015/16 Season will move to Detroit Public Theatre.

"Baltimore and Detroit have a lot in common - from our thriving cultural renaissances to our experiences with social injustice - and this moving play has incredible relevance for both cities," said Center Stage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Detroit '67, directed by Kamilah Forbes (HBO's "Def Poetry Jam," Hip-Hop Theater Festival; Broadway: Holler if Ya Hear Me, A Raisin in the Sun, Stick Fly, The Mountaintop), will be presented by Center Stage in association with Detroit Public Theatre, and is making its premiere in both cities with the same cast, creative team and costumes.

In 1967 Detroit, siblings Chelle and Lank (named for poet Langston Hughes) make ends meet by hosting late-night parties in the basement of their childhood home. The latest sounds of Motown echo from the record player, but the risk of their unofficial nightclub is high, given the intensifying police presence in the all-black neighborhood. The danger intensifies when Lank rescues a battered white woman, and relationships between black and white, brother and sister, friend and stranger begin to shift. The music and politics of the Motown era sizzle in this timely drama that explores one family's survival amidst the Detroit riots in 1967.

Chelle is played by Detroit native Michelle Wilson, who originated the role in the 2013 world premiere directed by Kwei-Armah at New York's Public Theatre. "Django Unchained" actor Amari Cheatom portrays Lank.

Completing the cast as Chelle's friend Bunny is Obie Award-winner Jessica Frances Dukes (Center Stage's Beneatha's Place, Clybourne Park; DC and Off-Broadway: Booty Candy; TV: The Good Wife), as outsider Caroline is Sarah Nealis (Regional: We Are Pussy Riot, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Venus in Fur), and as Lank's friend and Chelle's love interest Sly is Detroit native Brian Marable (Regional: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Take Me Out, Piano Lesson).

Kamilah Forbes' creative team includes scenic designer Michael Carnahan and costume designer Dede Ayite, who both worked with Forbes on the world premiere Blood Quilt at Arena Stage in 2015. Lighting designer Jen Schriver worked with Forbes on another Dominique Morisseau play, Sunset Baby (Labyrinth Theatre Co.), and recently on an all-African American casted All My Sons at People's Light. Sound designer Justin Ellington also worked on All My Sons with Forbes, as well as Detroit '67 at True Colors Theater. Designing projections for the production is Alex Basco Koch, whose work has been featured at Center Stage in Marley, One Night in Miami..., The Mountaintop, and ReEntry. Detroit '67's stage manager is Laura Smith. Casting is by Pat McCorkle.

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