Wilbury Group Announces New England Premiere of "Best New American Play" DETROIT

Posted by thewilburygroup

PROVIDENCE, RI- The Wilbury Theatre Group proudly announces the opening of their 2013-14 season as the theatre company in residence at Providence's historic Southside Cultural Center with the New England premiere of Lisa D'Amour's Detroit, an incendiary comedy that takes a timely and hilarious new look at the collapse of America's middle class and the rapidly crumbling economic ladder.

A finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and winner of the 2013 Obie Award for Best New American Play, Detroit was featured on Top Ten lists by The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Time Magazine as among the best new plays of 2012.

"With the city of Detroit continuing to make headlines as the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history, Lisa D'Amour's autopsy of our current American moment couldn't be more timely, " says Wilbury Artistic Director Josh Short. "D'Amour humanizes the story behind our economy and in the tradition of great playwrights such as Harold Pinter and Edward Albee before her, D'Amour finds the twisted humor within the tragedy, confronting us with the fears and anxieties that result from losing our grip on increasingly unstable lives of 'quiet desperation'."

Josh Short directs Melissa Penick, David Rabinow, Alexandra Lawrence*, David Tessier, and Richard Noble in the play that Charles Isherwood of The New York Times says is "disturbing and bracingly funny,...a smart, tart critique of the country's fraying social fabric, this scary-funny comedy speaks to the fractious, frightened American moment more perceptively than any play ever seen on a New York stage."

True to the Wilbury Group's commitment to providing audiences with a unique theatrical experience of the most cutting-edge productions, director Short and the design team have transformed their historic Broad Street theater into a suburban paradise, with set designer Eugene Mckeown and tech director Justin Carroll overseeing the creation of the backyards of two actual-size homes, and additional design contributing to the full immersion of audiences into the space by lighting designer Steve Mclellan (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), projection/sfx designer Michael Commendatore (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity), costume designer Sylvi Re (The Threepenny Opera), and Wilbury Group resident sound designer Cyrus Leddy.

DETROIT runs September 19, 2013 to October 5, 2013, with performances Thursday thru Saturday at 7:30pm. Sunday September 22 is Pay-What-You-Can. Tickets are $15-$20 and are available at (401) 400-7100 or online at www.thewilburygroup.org.


Recently laid off, Ben starts an e-business from his suburban home while his wife, Mary, keeps up with the Joneses. But when mysterious new neighbors Sharon and Kenny arrive, the fa├žade of their upwardly mobile lives begins to crack. Soon they find themselves increasingly pulled towards their wild new friends-to incendiary effect.

Originally commissioned by Chicago's prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre before moving to off-Broadway for a critically acclaimed run starring David Schwimmer and Amy Ryan, this Pulitzer Prize Finalist and one of The New York Times top 10 plays of 2012 is an explosive dark comedy that brilliantly captures our economic moment.


DETROIT by Lisa D'Amour

Directed by Josh Short

Costume Design by Sylvi Re

Sound Design by Cyrus Leddy

Lighting Design by Steve Mclellan

Set Design by Eugene Mckeown

Projection/SFX Design by Michael Commendatore

Technical Direction by Justin Carroll

Stage Management by Seth Finkle*


Mary.....Melissa Penick

Ben.......David Rabinow

Sharon..Alexandra Lawrence*

Kenny...David Tessier

Frank....Richard Noble

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.



Thursday, September 19 7:30pm PREVIEW

Friday, September 20 7:30pm PREVIEW

Saturday, September 21 7:30pm PREVIEW

Sunday, September 22 7:30pm PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN

Monday, September 23 7:30pm PRESS OPENING

Thursday, September 26 7:30pm

Friday, September 27 7:30pm

Saturday, September 28 7:30pm


Thursday, October 3 7:30pm

Friday, October 4, 7:30pm

Saturday, October 5 7:30pm


Obie Award-winning playwright Lisa D'Amour is the Playwright At Large in the Theatre Arts & Performance Studies dept. at Brown University in Providence RI, and one half of PearlDamour, an OBIE Award-winning interdisciplinary performance company she runs with Katie Pearl. Lisa's plays have been produced by theaters across the U.S., including the Women's Project, Clubbed Thumb, Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf, New Georges (all in NYC), Salvage Vanguard Theater (Austin, TX), Catastrophic Theatre (Houston, TX), ArtSpot Productions (New Orleans, LA) and Children's Theater Company (Minneapolis, MN). Lisa collaborates on site-specific performances. In 2008, Lisa created a performance for visual artist SWOON's "Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea," a flotilla of six boats created from salvaged materials that navigated the Hudson River, performing in riverfront parks from Troy, NY to New York City. Lisa's play DETROIT, originally produced by Steppenwolf Theater Company, won the 2013 Obie Award for Best New American Play and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. In 2008, she was awarded the Alpert Award for the Arts in theater and in 2011 she received the Steinberg Playwright Award. Lisa received her MFA in playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a New Dramatists alumni. She lives with her husband, composer Brendan Connelly, in Brooklyn and New Orleans. www.lisadamour.com


Founded in 2010, The Wilbury Group is an ever-evolving collaboration of artists committed to presenting the public with the highest quality professional theatre. Founded on the belief that quality theatre should be an affordable and accessible means of enrichment to the community; The Wilburys strive to create contemporary works that will simultaneously engage, inspire, and provoke-thought among audiences.

The Wilbury Theatre Group is the official resident theatre company in the historic Trinity Square Theater at the Southside Cultural Center, 393 Broad Street Providence. Visit us online for more about our 2013-14 season, or find out how you can get involved at www.thewilburygroup.org.



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