Chelsea Marcantel's The Upstairs Department Finishes World Premiere Run June 12 | Playbill

Regional News Chelsea Marcantel's The Upstairs Department Finishes World Premiere Run June 12

The new play completes its debut at Tony-winning Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia.

Matthew Sparacino Christopher Mueller

The world premiere of Chelsea Marcantel's The Upstairs Department completes its run at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia June 12. Performances for the new play began April 26 at the Tony-winning regional theatre. 

The Upstairs Department follows a young man after he wakes up from a serious illness with the power, or maybe just the belief, that he can communicate with the dead. With his skeptical sister in tow, the two go to a spiritualist community to test his powers, beginning a journey that explores family love, cynicism, and the unexplainable.

Starring in the cast are Annie Grove as Colleen, Joy Jones as Shiloh, and Zach Livingston as Luke while Anna Shafer, Anissa Parekh, and Taylor Witt serve as understudies. 

Holly Twyford directs the production, which also features scenic design by  Paige Hathaway, costume design by Ivania Stack, lighting design by Annie Wiegand, and sound design by Kenny Neal. Chelsea Pace is Signature’s resident intimacy consultant. Serving as production stage manager is Joey Blakely with Clancey Yovanovich and Allison Poms serving as assistant director and production assistant, respectively. Casting is by Kelly Crandall d’Amboise and Jorge Acevedo.

“This is a play about transition and change, and the places we look for comfort when the world spins out of control," says Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner in a statement. "Her play takes all the divisiveness and tragedy of the last two years, and with humor and incredible empathy she tells a remarkable and unexpected story that I believe will allow audiences to laugh, process, and heal together."

For tickets and more information, visit


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