“Intimate Apparel” coming soon to Bonstelle Theatre

The Bonstelle Theatre Presents Award-Winning, Socially Relevant Theatre

Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage is a Delicate, Thoughtful Drama Immersed in History

DETROIT – The Bonstelle Theatre will present the award-winning play Intimate Apparel by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. The play that won the 2004 New York Drama Critics’ Circle and the Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Play and Best Off-Broadway Play, respectively, will run February 10 through February 19, 2012. Intimate Apparel is a delicate and thoughtful story that explores societal expectations of race and gender in the early twentieth century and one woman’s perseverance in the face of longing and betrayal.

Set in 1905 New York City, Intimate Apparel is about Esther, a 35-year-old African-American seamstress who yearns for marriage and a fulfilling future. As she provides for herself by making lingerie for upper-class white women and black prostitutes, she is able to save money to put toward her dream of opening a salon for African-American women. In her aspiration for marriage she must choose between the Hasidic shopkeeper whom she desires and the Caribbean stranger who is the acceptable choice.

Derell Jones as George and Indigo Colbert as Esther

In 2003, Lynn Nottage wrote an essay for the Los Angeles Times called “Lives Rescued From Silence,” describing her experience researching the idea that eventually became Intimate Apparel. In her fascination with African-Americans’ social lives in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century, she began doing research, but found only records of celebrity African-Americans of the time. Around the same time she found family photographs of her great-grandmother and grandmother as a baby, and wondered why their story was missing from the annals of history. In the end, she not only wrote a play inspired by the lives of her great-grandparents, but also an essay that illuminates her family history and creates an historical record of the existence of her ancestors.

Lynn Nottage received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005 and a MacArthur “Genius Grant” in 2007. She most recently won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Ruined.

The cast includes (in alphabetical order):

George Abud (Grosse Pointe, MI) as Mr. Marks, Indigo Colbert (Detoit, MI) as Esther, Mackenzie Conn (Walled Lake, MI) as Mrs. Van Buren, Derell Jones (Detroit, MI) as George, Bridgette Jordan (Southfield, MI) as Mayme and Celeste Shropshire (Detroit, MI) as Mrs. Dickson.

The production team includes:

Jesse Merz (Director), Michael Waldrup (Stage Manager), Fred Florkowski (Scenic  Designer), Anthony Karpinski (Technical Director), Clare Hungate-Hawk (Costume Designer), Jon Weaver (Lighting Designer), Michael Thomas (Sound Designer) and Alexandra Stewart (Publicity Manager).

Calendar Information

February 10, 2012 – February 19, 2012

Friday 8 p.m.               Feb. 10, Feb. 17

Saturday 8 p.m.           Feb. 11, Feb. 18

Sunday 2 p.m.             Feb. 12, Feb. 19


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