‘Skeleton Crew’ at Bristol Riverside Theater Has Special Resonance, Given the Borough’s Industrial Past

two black men outdoors with two black women
Cast of "Skeleton Crew," now at the Bristol Riverside Theater until Nov. 21.

The setting for Skeleton Crew, an award-winning play now onstage at the Bristol Riverside Theater, may be Detroit, but its themes resonate deeply in the borough in which it is now being presented. Jane M. Von Bergen, in The Philadelphia Inquirer, examined the local echoes that the production rekindles.

In Skeleton Crew, four characters sift the implications related to the impending closure of a local automotive factory.

It’s a reality that Bristol residents faced numerous times in its past.

A look back at centuries of Bristol’s economic drivers reveals numerous businesses like forges, textile mills, and foundries that flourished for a time. And then sputtered and died.

Many of their vestiges remain, and visionary real estate developers are finding great success in turning their remnants (former warehouses, etc.) into trendy offices and retail space. These unique properties now operate under the protection of the Bristol Industrial Historical Business District.

“It synthesizes the conversation that we are having about losing jobs,” said Cameron Knight, the play’s director. “So many people who watch it will know that story.”

He sees the Bristol Riverside Theater production as being important — perhaps even somewhat cathartic — for residents.

“There’s someone giving voice to their fears, their hopes, and their anger,” Knight explains.

Skeleton Crew runs through Nov. 21.

More information is available at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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