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Lisa D’Amour’s Detroit, a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, is a wickedly funny satire about our uncertain, deflating economic times. Barely middle class Ben and Mary fire up the grill to welcome Sharon and Kenny, a couple who moves in next door (suspiciously without furniture). But as this foursome bonds over backyard barbecues, remembered dreams and helping hands, their neighborly connection turns dangerous, threatening to destroy more than just their friendship.

"Funny as hell." - New York Post

RUNTIME: 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission



Disclaimers: Water-based haze is used in this production.
Member of *Actors' Equity Association, +Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, **United Scenic Artists
Press Coverage
...funny, revelatory [with] ever more combustible results. Read Full Article »
- Robert Hurwitt
San Francisco Chronicle
Fireworks explode in the psyche instead of in the sky in Detroit. Read Full Article »
- Karen D'Souza
San Jose Mercury News
...funny and deep…and a little scary. Read Full Article »
- Chad Jones
Theater Dogs
[In Detroit], so astutely directed by Josh Costello, surprising things do indeed happen, and they’re funny and horrifying. Read Full Article »
- Jean Schiffman
The San Francisco Examiner
Detroit is scary good. Read Full Article »
- Cy Ashley Webb
Stark Insider
hilarious...beautifully written... magnificent Read Full Article »
- Rhonda Shrader
Dogmom's Dish
Josh Costello’s direction keeps Detroit taut and tender. All four actors give first-class performances. Read Full Article »
- Emily S. Mendel
Spanning the ordinary and the absurd, Detroit delivers the dark hysteria of the American dream gone wrong with the transient nonchalance of the American sitcom. Read Full Article »
- Irene Hsiao
SF Weekly
The [Detroit] cast is worthy of a standing ovation...the play's sharp critique on America's tattered social fabric is delivered elegantly. Read Full Article »
- Gillian Edevane
East Bay Express
Gnawing at an open wound buried deep in the American psyche, [Detroit] is hilarious and unnerving at the same time. Read Full Article »
- Sam Hurwitt
beautiful...disquieting...[Detroit]is rocking some scary good voodoo. Read Full Article »
- Adam Brinklow
With searing humor and tremendous intelligence, “Detroit” probes how humans grapple with uncertainty, from its subtle humiliations to its small triumphs and everything in between. Read Full Article »
- Sarah Elizabeth Adler
The Daily Californian
Detroit is about having things and the heretofore untenable notion of winding up with fewer things...the fear of free-falling from the American Dream cloud may be worse than actually hitting the ground. Read Full Article »
- Richard Dodds
Bay Area Reporter
...a sneakily funny farce that can make your head spin... Read Full Article »
- Robert Hall
repeat performances
Detroit TV spot

Detroit trailer

Interview with Amy Resnick on KDFC

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PATRICK JONES* - Kenny, Frank
LISA D'AMOUR - Playwright

WESLEY APFEL* - Stage Manager
DANIEL BANATO - Props Artisan
CLIFF CARUTHERS* - Sound Designer & Original Music
CHRISTINE CROOK - Costume Designer
KURT LANDISMAN* - Light Designer
MIKIKO UESUGI* - Set Designer

AMY RESNICK* is so very happy to return to Aurora where she has appeared in BODY AWARENESS, COLLAPSE, OLD NEIGHBORHOOD and SMALL TRAGEDY. Recent roles include a tour of India (Mumbai, Cochin, Meherabad) with the B Street Theatre as Passepartout in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, Margie in GOOD PEOPLE at Marin Theatre Company (Bay Area Critic’s Nomination), SEA OF REEDS with Josh Kornbluth at Shotgun Players, Veronica in GOD OF CARNAGE at San Jose Repertory Theatre (Bay Area Critic’s Award) and a National Tour with the original cast of LARAMIE PROJECT/TEN YEARS LATER including the Arena Stage in DC, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Boston’s Majestic Theatre, and the SFJCC. Film and TV include LAW & ORDER, PICKET FENCES, PAPER CHASE, HAIKU TUNNEL, LOVE AND TAXES (post production) and “Roxie” in the upcoming animated feature ZOMBIE HOLIDAY.
JEFF GARRETT* loves his job, whether that job involves wrestling with despair (Vladimir in Waiting For Godot), surrendering to joy (Scrooge in A One-Man Christmas Carol) or celebrating the way things truly, if inconveniently, are (Richard Feynman in QED). TBA nominated him last year as Best Principal Actor for QED. He wants to thank the powers-that-be here at Aurora and elsewhere for dropping him smack in the middle of this profound, bloody and comic world. He means the play.
LUISA FRASCONI is thrilled to be making her debut at Aurora Theatre Company. She recently played Juliet in Romeo & Juliet and Phebe in As You Like It at Marin Shakespeare Company. She also appeared in Shotgun Player’s The Coast of Utopia: Voyage at Shotgun Players. Other bay area credits include The Taming of The Shrew and The Liar at Livermore Shakespeare Festival, All’s Well That Ends Well and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Marin Shakespeare Company, The Great Divide at Shotgun Players, and As You Like It at Impact Theatre, which she won a Bay Area Critics Circle Award for. Endless gratitude to her partner Jackson and their new baby.
PATRICK KELLY JONES* has appeared at Aurora in Kafka's Metamorphosis and Detroit. Other recent credits include The Tempest (California Shakespeare Theater), Gem of the Ocean (Marin Theatre Company), We Are Proud To Present... (Just Theater), The Sister Play (Magic Theatre), and Peter and The Starcatcher (TheatreWorks). He has also performed at theaters around the country including The Denver Center, Florida Studio Theater, New York Classical Theater, The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and the 52nd Street Project. Patrick received his MFA in Acting from Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House.
Member of *Actors' Equity Association, +Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, **United Scenic Artists
The city of Detroit has been a symbol of the 2008 economic crisis and our country's ongoing economic woes ever since the bailout of the automobile industry. Today, thousands of empty buildings line the streets of Detroit; over 15,000 homes have had their water cut off due to outstanding bills. The city declared bankruptcy in 2013. 

Our country's economic crisis—whether you call it the Great Recession, the Global Economic Downturn, or the Subprime Mortgage Crisis—left lasting scars not just on Detroit, but on our nation's middle class and on the American psyche. Even as unemployment numbers drop and the economy seems to recover, people across our country are learning to live with a frightening level of uncertainty about the future. A recent New York Times article, "Middle Class Shrinks Further as More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up," cited layoffs and falling incomes as key factors in the shrinking number of people who can afford to own a home or save for retirement. The idea of a single-income family living in a comfortable home in the suburbs and paying for their kids to go to college has become a vanishing, half-remembered dream.

Lisa D'Amour's Detroit isn't set in the city of Detroit. She wrote the play in 2009; it opened at Steppenwolf in 2010 before a run at Playwrights Horizons in New York and productions all around the country. A finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the play won the Obie Award for Best New American Play in 2013. D'Amour says this about the title: "To me it’s about a particular anxiety the name of that city evokes. Detroit is a symbol to so many people of the American dream drying up. While working on the play, I started hearing about radical grassroots movements in Detroit trying to bring the city back. There’s something bubbling up there—where the structures aren’t working and the people are taking over—that’s interesting. It’s a weird title, but if you look at the play and how at times it feels like a surreal fable, it makes sense."

D'Amour also says she didn't consciously set out to write a play about the US economy. But this story of two couples—one on the verge of losing everything and the other with nothing to lose—can't help but resonate with this particular moment in American history. D'Amour is asking the questions that all of us are striving to answer: What do we do when we just can't make ends meet? How do we deal with uncertainty? How can we let go of the American Dream—and how are we going to get by without it?
production photos
Photos by David Allen
*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers
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