On the latest episode of One Hundred: The Ed Gordon Podcast, host Ed Gordon speaks with Tony Award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau about her latest Broadway play, the importance of honoring the working class, her hometown of Detroit, and the renewed interest in Black media.
Morriseau’s Skeleton Crew is the third installment in her trilogy of plays, entitled The Detroit Project, that uses the automobile industry as a backdrop into the lives of the American workers. The 43-year-old said she relied on her upbringing to bring Black life to the stage.
“Growing up in Detroit for me, was seeing myself reflected at every level of excellence,” she said. “Detroit was predominately Black growing up and Black folks were running everything,” she added. “They were running the police department, they were your firefighters, your boards, they were your everything.”
“I saw reflections of everything I could be all over,” Morisseau said.
Morisseau wrote her first play at a student at the University of Michigan, though she says she attended a school that exposed students to plays and theater at a young age.
“I always had educators that were pushing me towards this, who saw something in me,” Morisseau said.
Morisseau says that getting Black stories, particularly ones about Detroit, represented on Broadway is important to her, because “any time anyone is talking about Detroit, they are literally talking about my family.”
“And I care about my family enough to want to write about us and immortalize us in literature.”