Acclaimed playwright almost missed her genius grant
Detroit native Dominique Morisseau tells her story to Stephen Henderson
November 2, 2018 – Bill Kubota, Detroit Public Television’s One Detroit

A few weeks ago playwright Dominique Morisseau got the call.

She’d been awarded with a 625-thousand dollar MacArthur “genius award”, to spend however she wants.

Morisseau had no idea she was being considered for the award, officially called the MacArthur Fellowship, of which she joins 24 other recipients this year.

“When they call and tell you about it, it’s like a random person trying to get in touch with you,” Morisseau told One Detroit’s Stephen Henderson on his WDET-FM Detroit Today radio program.

Not knowing who was calling, Morisseau said she gave the caller a hard time.

But she came around.

Morisseau was back in Detroit from California to see her play, Pipeline, performed at Detroit’s Public Theater.

Pipeline looks at the struggles of a young African American man in private school and his mother, a teacher in an urban public school.

Morisseau told Henderson her mother was a longtime teacher in Highland Park and she taught there too.

Her latest production, Ain’t Too Proud about the Temptations, the Motown group, will premier next year on Broadway in New York.

She’s currently living in Los Angeles, where she’s doing a lot of screenwriting.

She tells Henderson she’s also a filmmaker and has plans to make a film here in Detroit.

See the Morisseau’s complete interview above, and see more about Morisseau and her work on Detroit Public Television’s American Black Journal and One Detroit in the weeks to come.