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Rachel Christopher as Chelle, Charlie Hudson III as Sly, Tangela Large as Bunny and Myles Bullock as Lank in PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of “Detroit ‘67. (photo by Jon Gardiner)

PlayMakers Repertory Company opens the 2016-17 main-stage season with Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit ‘67 on stage Sept. 14 through Oct. 2. Special events associated with the show begin Sept. 7.

It’s 1967, and the world is shifting for two siblings running an after-hours joint to make ends meet. Tensions mount when dreams diverge, their tight-knit community is threatened by an outsider and the streets erupt in violence in this riveting new play set to a driving Motown beat.

detroit67webStar Tribune describes Detroit ‘67 as a “poetic play of fire-fueled dreams,” while The New York Times says the play “crackles with humor.” The Huffington Post calls Morisseau “a direct heir to the magical wordsmiths named Lorraine Hansberry, Tennessee Williams, and August Wilson,” and calls the script “mind blowing… you can feel the pulse and vibrations of her characters.”

Detroit ‘67 was the recipient of the 2014 Edward M Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, awarded through Columbia University.

The production is helmed by director Lisa Rothe, whose recent PlayMakers credits include Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata and Penelope with Ellen McLaughlin. A champion of new play development, Rothe has workshopped and directed more than 100 new plays and musicals at theaters across the country, including the Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Primary Stages, HERE Arts Center, and others.

Three actors will make their PlayMakers debut in Detroit ‘67, including Charles Hudson III, recently seen on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun alongside Denzel Washington and Anika Noni Rose. Others are Rachel Christopher, who recently starred as Jory in Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’s production of Disgraced, and Tangela Large, who will return to PlayMakers in April to perform the award-winning solo show Mr. Joy by Daniel Beaty as part of the PRC2 series.

Completing the cast are PlayMakers company members Katy Castaldi (Three SistersInto the Woods) and Myles Bullock (We Are Proud to Present…, Mary’s Wedding).

PlayMakers Repertory Company production of Detroit '67. CREDIT: Jon Gardiner
Rachel Christopher as Chelle, Charlie Hudson III as Sly and Tangela Large as Bunny in PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of “Detroit ‘67. (photo by Jon Gardiner)

Performances will take place in the Paul Green Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Show times will be 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays and Saturday, Oct. 1. There are no performances Saturday, Sept. 24.

In conjunction with Detroit ‘67, PlayMakers hosts “The Vision Series-Directors in Conversation,” a behind-the-scenes preview with director Lisa Rothe, moderated by dramaturg Jacqueline E. Lawton, Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Paul Green Theatre. The event is free and open to the public. Participants share coffee and hors d’oeuvres provided by series sponsor Carol Woods Retirement Community, learn about the vision for the show and get a sneak peek at the sets and costumes in progress. Reservations are appreciated. Call PlayMakers’ box office at 919.962.7529 to RSVP.

Other special events will include:

  • Sept. 12, 7 p.m.: “In the Wings,” presented by PlayMakers and the Durham County Library. Cast and creative team members discuss the play at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St., downtown Durham;
  • Sept. 14 and 15, 7:30 p.m.: preview performances;
  • Sept.16 (Friday), 7:30 p.m.: opening night performance (please note the Friday opening);
  • Sept. 20: an all-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description;
  • Sept. 21 and 25 (2 pm): free post-show discussions with members of the creative team;
  • Oct. 1, 2 p.m.: open captioned performance;

PlayMakers’ season will continue with The Crucible by Arthur Miller, directed by Desdemona Chiang (Oct. 19-Nov. 6). Subscription packages are on sale for the 2016-17 season.

For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit www.playmakersrep.org. Individual ticket prices for Detroit ‘67 start at $10 for students with ID and $15 for non-students.

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