De'Adre Aziza and Brandon Dirden Set for Detroit '67 at the Public Theater; Additional Casting Announced

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03 Jan 2013

de'Adre Aziza
de'Adre Aziza

De'Adre Aziza and Brandon Dirden will be part of Dominique Morisseau's Detroit '67, which will be staged as part of the Public Theater's Public Lab series in February. 

Detroit '67, which was developed through the Public's Emerging Writers Group, will receive its premiere staging Feb. 26-March 17 under the direction of Kwame Kwei-Armah. It is a co-production with the Classical Theatre of Harlem and the National Black Theatre.

Aziza (Women on the Verge, Passing Strange) and Dirden (The Piano Lesson) will be joined by Francois Battiste, Samantha Soule and Michelle Wilson.

Here's how it's billed: "It's 1967 in Detroit and Motown music gets the party started. Chelle and her brother Lank transform their basement into an after-hours joint to make ends meet. But when a mysterious woman winds her way into their lives, the siblings clash over much more than family business. As their pent-up feelings erupt, so does their city, and the flames of the '67 Detroit riots engulf them all."

In addition, Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón will direct the world premiere of his Chekhov-inspired play Neva, running March 1-31. Andrea Thome penned the translation.



The cast will include Bianca Amato, Luke Robertson and Quincy Tyler-Bernstine.

"In a politically charged, haunting yet humorous meditation on theater and the revolutionary impulse, Chilean writer-director Guillermo Calderón's Neva tells the story of Anton Chekhov's widow, the actress Olga Knipper, who arrives in a dimly lit rehearsal room in St. Petersburg in the winter of 1905. As Olga and two other actors await the rest of the cast, they huddle together, act out scenes from their lives and muse on their art form and love — while, unseen, striking workers are being gunned down in the streets by the Tsarist regime. Calderón savagely examines the relationship between theater and historical context in this ominous and tightly crafted work that allows a palpable terror to creep through the theater walls," according to the Public.

The Public Theater's spring season also includes the musicals Venice and Here Lies Love, and Richard Foreman's Old-Fashioned Prostitutes (A True Romance).

For tickets phone (212) 967-7555, or visit PublicTheater. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.