Playwright and MacArthur Genius Dominique Morisseau to Open Detroit Public Theatre Season

MacArthur Genius award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau stops by WDET for a conversation about her work and what’s next.

It’s opening night for the Detroit Public Theatre’s 2019-2020 season as they kick things off with a play called Paradise Blue by Dominique Morisseau.

It’s the third play in the MacArthur Genius award-winning playwright’s Detroit cycle  her others include Detroit ‘67 and Skeleton Crew. The play is set in Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood as it is being gentrified in 1949, and the protagonist is a brilliant jazz musician torn between his roots in Black Bottom and an uncertain future. While the play is set 70 years in the past, the themes are still timely in a city dealing with all of the conflict that comes with development and transition. 

Dominique Morisseau and Detroit Public Theatre Co-founder and Artistic Director Courtney Burkett join Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to discuss the new season.

“The past has come back, the things we keep trying to bury are resurfacing,” says Morisseau, who adds that the protagonist was inspired by jazz greats Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. Burkett says the 2019-2020 season for DPT will be filled with stories about poetry, race, gender and disability. 

Click on the player above to hear the full conversation. 

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  • Detroit Today

    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.