Skip links
The House that Will Not Stand | Best Theatre in Detroit

Powerful All-Female Cast Reveals “Freedom ain’t free!”

DETROIT, MI – Michigan’s award-winning professional Black theatre, Plowshares Theatre Company, presents the Detroit Premiere of THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND by Marcus Gardley. The production, directed by Gary Anderson, will be performed at The Carr Center Performance Studio, located inside the Park Shelton, 15 E. Kirby Street at Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202. Performances begin Thursday, May 16, and run through Sunday, June 16. Tickets range from $15 -$38.

This all-female play tackles the theme of freedom from the point of view of Black women in the early 19th Century.

About the Play

THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND is a spellbinding drama set in New Orleans in the early 1800s. In the heat of the summer, Louisiana passes from France to the United States. In a house in mourning, freedom hangs in the balance for Beartrice Albans, an affluent mother of three headstrong and anxious daughters, all free women of color. As the formerly French-controlled territory slowly adopts the laws and practices of America’s racially-structured culture, we see what changes they will have to endure. Inspired by Federico García Lorca’s “The House of Bernarda Alba,” Marcus Gardley‘s lyrical, nuanced play navigates the complexities of race, power, and desire in a society where freedom ain’t free.

THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND contains mature content and language. This play has two acts with one 15-minute intermission and lasts just over two hours.

About the Cast

This all-female cast features a combination of emerging and established Detroit artists. The list includes Sylvia Shelby Bradley as the Creole matriarch Beartrice Albans. Her three headstrong daughters are played by Layla Lyes as Odette, Mycarra Whorton as Maude Lynn, and Shannon Dingle as Agnes. Madelyn Porter plays two roles: La Veuve, a longtime rival, and Marie Josephine, Beartrice’s sister. Rounding out the cast is Zahirah Muhammad as Makeda, the enslaved servant of Beartrice.

About the Playwright 

Born and raised in Oakland, California, Marcus Gardley is an acclaimed poet, playwright, and screenwriter The New Yorker describes as “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello, and Tennessee Williams.” His plays include The House That Will Not Stand, which had its world premiere at Yale Rep in 2014, and for which he received the 2018 AUDELCO Award and the 2019 OBIE Award; X: Or, Betty Shabazz V. the Nation; black odyssey (2023 Drama Desk nomination); The Gospel of Loving Kindness; Every Tongue Confess; On the Levee, music and lyrics by Todd Almond (commissioned by Yale Rep); …and Jesus moonwalks the Mississippi; The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry; and Dance of the Holy Ghosts (Yale Rep world premiere, 2006).

He is the recipient of the 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award, the 2015 Glickman Award, the PEN/Laura Pels Award, and a Kesselring Honor, and he is a two-time finalist for the Kennedy Prize in 2015 and 2016.

Gardley is the Co-Chair of Playwright for the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University and the winner of a 2019 OBIE Award for Playwriting for THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND. (Click this link to learn more about Marcus Gardley)

About Plowshares

Plowshares Theatre Company is a not-for-profit, professional live theatre company dedicated to producing plays that affirm, exhibit, and inspire African American life. The company began producing in 1990 and has received numerous awards and accolades. 

Fact Sheet

WHERE: The Carr Center Performance Studio
15 East Kirby Street
Detroit, MI 48202

WHEN: May 16 to June 16, 2024

Thursday evenings, 7:30 PM
Friday evenings, 7:30 PM
Saturday evenings, 8:00 PM
Sunday afternoons, 2:00 PM

TICKET PRICES: Preview Tickets for all performances between May 16 through 24 are $15.
Preview Tickets are $15 for all performances between May 16 and May 24.
Regular Ticket
prices range between $32 to $38.
Student Tickets are $20 for patrons under 29 with a valid ID.
MasterCard, VISA, American Express, & Discover accepted. 

Tickets may also be bought online at

Additional information about the company and shows from the upcoming 2024- 25 Season is available online at or by calling (313) 744-3181.


Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.
Skip to content