What's it about?
Skeleton Crew is a play that focuses on the highs and lows of working in the Detroit auto industry. Throughout the play you get to see the difficulties these Detroit natives go through. Facing many adversities (like the rough streets of Detroit) you get an inside look at how these characters choose to either battle or embrace their struggles.
What'd I experience?
As soon as I got my tickets from the box office I headed into the theatre but right before I entered I was asked not to sit in my assigned seat. The usher asked me if I could sit in the seat that was next to my assigned seat. I wondered why. As I began walking to my row a lovely lady who was accompanied by her husband said "Hey, I'm sorry! I need your seat because I have a disability and need a seat at the end of the row." I was like "There is no problem at all!" Then she goes "Anyway, you get to sit in the middle which is a better view and plus you get to sit next to a lovely lady to the left of you!" As soon as she said that, I was like "You tryna play matchmaker" in my head, of course!
I began to converse with the lovely lady to the left of me, she was alone just like me. I'm pretty good at conversing with almost anyone, so it wasn't a big deal for me. I asked her how she heard about this play and she said she's friends with either the director or the playwright (I can't remember). Then she asked me the same question and I told her how I'm a part of PXP Magazine. Man, I thought I was so cool talking about it like "Yes, I go see shows and write about my experiences." She thought it was so cool and fascinating. I knew I had to get my PXP promotion plug in there somehow. Right after I got in my plug the lights started to dim, the play was about to begin.
Okay, so let's get to the play. The play started with a woman named Faye taking off her uniform in a break room. Her uniform was basically an orange safety vest over her regular clothes. I figured that her line of work was something very hands on. Faye was a woman of a particular age (I would say mid 60s). She went into her locker and pulled out a cigarette. As soon as she started smoking, one of her coworkers, Dez, entered and he let her know how bad smoking was for her health. I was like “Ummmm, you better listen to him Faye because you’re not getting any younger!” She listened (to me) and quit smoking in that instant...
Just kidding, she didn’t quit.
Another coworker named Shanita enter and all three started talking about their day at work and how they need specific tools to help repair certain vehicles. I wondered to myself... Why is a pregnant woman working in the auto industry? Isn’t it dangerous? She couldn’t take a leave of absence?
Then came their manager Reggie, who entered the room and told everyone, except for Faye, to get back to work. He confided in Faye that everyone might be losing their jobs because there is no longer room for this company in the auto industry. Faye, who is a part of the union, couldn’t believe this and wanted to tell her coworkers but Reggie did not want that to happen. I kept thinking... If you knew that she was a part of the union, why would you tell her that she might be losing her job. Of course she’s going to fight for it.
Dez and Shanita felt like something was up because they'd heard rumors about other small companies going down. It didn't help that Faye was so quiet the whole time they were talking. Dez took her silence as hiding something. In my head I screamed "YUP! She knows all the juice!" I was not sure if I wanted her to share but then I thought of myself and, of course, I would want somebody to tell me something that would impact my life. Like don't keep secrets from me. Dez asked Faye if she knew anything and she denied it.
But Faye eventually told Shanita and Dez the truth about their jobs being in danger. Dez couldn't believe it. The next day Reggie told everybody that there has been so much violence going around in the neighborhood and he was going to conduct a mandatory search. Dez didn't want to be searched. Dez kept resisting so Reggie demanded Dez to give him his bag. Reggie found a gun in there. I was like BLOOOOOOOOOOP! You really tried it Dez! Seriously?
After that there was an intermission. The couple to the right of me asked me how many shows have I seen so far. I took them down the list of productions that I’ve been fortunate enough to see. They were so intrigued to see a young man that enjoyed going to the theatre. They asked me how I heard about this show. I cleared my throat and started my PXP Magazine promotion plug, like earlier. Then right after my commercial they asked me for my name, I felt like a salesman who just made a sale. It was so funny because I bet I sounded like I rehearsed it a million times. The lights started to dim so we ended our conversation.
After the intermission Reggie was no longer in the break room it was just Shanita, Faye, Dez, and the gun. Shanita kept questioning Dez and asked Faye if she thought Reggie would tell his supervisor. Faye didn't think he would. I didn't think he would either because, first of all, no one is even sure that it was Dez who was the cause any of that violent activity that's been going on. Shanita asked Dez one more time why he walked around with his gun and he told her that he got robbed before so he walks around with it for protection. She was like, whatever man, I'm so disappointed. I mean I was disappointed myself. A GUN! I didn't know it was that deep and dangerous in Detroit.
The next time everyone came to work they acted like nothing ever happened, and it was clear that Reggie didn't tell his supervisor. He told Faye that his supervisor wanted him to fire Dez. Faye wasn’t having it. She told him how important Dez was to the team since he was so smart with fixing things. Reggie knew it and decided to tell his supervisor to reconsider. After talking to his supervisor he came back to Faye and told her that they would be keeping Dez. I could see in her eyes how happy she was. I could see that she felt as if she was the one who made it happen. Little did she know Reggie wasn’t finished. He said his supervisor told him to keep Dez and get rid of Faye. Her jaw dropped! I was like “Girl, that’s a shame! You see you try to help people and BOOM now they’re on your case!” Faye explained how she has seniority and had one more year until her retirement budget to be up to good standing. Reggie said he explained all of this to his supervisor but it did not make a difference.
I felt so bad for Faye I just knew she wouldn’t be happy. It hurts when you try to help somebody and it results in a negative outcome for you. The next morning everybody came to work and was wondering where Faye was. Heck, even I was wondering where Faye was.
Reggie told them “Faye has decided to take her retirement package early.” He then told everyone to get back to work fast because there are expensive tools missing on one of the units. Everybody looked at each other and smiled because they obviously suspected Faye of taking the tools. I thought to myself “What a smart move" because now she can sell the tools since her retirement fund isn’t what it would’ve been if she waited one more year. Shanita asked Reggie “Do you think it was her who took all the other tools?” Reggie said he didn’t know but through his smirk you could see that he believes that it was her.
Although Faye was left to deal - she clearly handled it like a real boss!
Want to see it?
$20 Student Rush
Atlantic Theater Company
thru Feb. 13
May 13-June 19)