Matrix Theatre Company presents its second 2022-2023 Mainstage Theatre production, the world premiere of the R&J Project, by local playwright Craig Ester, in partnership with Break the Chain Theatre Company. The production opens on February 10th and runs through February 26, Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM and Sundays at 3PM. All performances are presented at Matrix Theatre Company, located at 2730 Bagley Avenue in the heart of Mexicantown.
The R&J Project follows the cast and director of the First Baptist Church’s Drama Club production of Romeo and Juliet – both backstage and onstage. Together they share the joy, pain, and triumph of working together to conquer Shakespeare’s words as Alex, the play’s director, helps them understand its relevance to their own lives. Young people of color have a hard time seeing themselves in the classics and The R&J Project gives them Shakespeare through their lens; making it vital and exciting by allowing young kids of color and LGBTQIA+ kids to see themselves represented in the text. Alex, their teacher, whose life was saved by falling in love with Shakespeare is on their own journey of learning how to pass down their knowledge and skills and passion to the students.
“It’s critical that we present shows which include BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ representation in order to make theatre feel more accessible,” said Matrix Director of Productions Marisa Dluge. “We want everyone to see themselves on our stage.”
Written and directed by Break the Chain Theatre’s Craig Ester, who is thrilled to be collaborating with Matrix Theatre on the world premiere of his newest project, the play features a diverse cast of Detroit actors who include Laketa Caston as Alex, Faith Berry as Chyna, Alice Duffy as Lena, Jalen Wilson-Nelem of as Chris and Cassius Merriweather as Tyler.
The final dress rehearsal on Thursday, February 9 is a “Pay What You Want” performance. To help eliminate the barrier between audiences and live theatre, patrons can choose to pay whatever amount they want at the door to see the preview show of the R&J Project. Tickets will be available at the door that evening or can be purchased online at matrixtheatre.org or by calling the box office at 313-967-0999. Doors open at 7:30PM for the 8PM performance.
Tickets for the premiere on February 10 through the 26th are $25 for adults and $20 for students, seniors, veterans, and active military personnel, and may be purchased in advance or, if available, at the door. Group rates are also available. For further information or to purchase tickets, visit www.matrixtheatre.org or call (313) 967-0999.
For further info, or to follow Matrix on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, go to www.matrixtheatre.org.
Poster Design: Marisa Dluge