Architects of the Future


Community Conversations: Dominique Morisseau

Join us for an insightful and provocative evening with award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, ahead of the April 24th opening of Paradise Blue at Manhattan’s Signature Theatre, the final play in her Detroit ’67 cycle.  The Obie Award winner—most recently the Co-Producer of the Showtime series Shameless—will be joined by fellow playwright, screenwriter and artistic director of The New Black Fest, Keith Josef Adkins, for a wide-ranging conversation on themes explored in the play, the future of black theater, and the role of the arts in challenging times.


About Paradise Blue

In 1949, Detroit’s Blackbottom neighborhood is gentrifying. Blue, a troubled trumpeter and the owner of Paradise Club, is torn between remaining in Blackbottom with his loyal lover Pumpkin and leaving behind a traumatic past. But when the arrival of a mysterious woman stirs up tensions, the fate of Paradise Club hangs in the balance. Paradise Blue is the first production of Obie Award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau’s Signature Residency. Directed by Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (The Piano Lesson, Jitney), it is a thrilling and timely look at the changes a community endures to find its resilience.  Play tickets available via the Signature Theatre.

Event made possible through the generous support of the Coalition of Theaters of Color.


DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle), which includes the following plays:  Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT).  Additional plays include: Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theatre), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre); Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre) and Follow Me To Nellie’s (Premiere Stages).   She is also the book writer on the new musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Berkeley Repertory Theatre).  Dominique is an alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, Women’s Project Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop and has developed work at Sundance Lab, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Eugene O’Neil Playwrights Conference.  Her work has been commissioned by Steppenwolf Theater, Women’s Project, South Coast Rep, People’s Light and Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival/Penumbra Theatre. She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series Shameless. Awards include:  Spirit of Detroit Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper Prize, TEER Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Audelco Awards, NBFT August Wilson Playwriting Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, OBIE Award, Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, and being named one of Variety’s Women of Impact for 2017-18.


KEITH JOSEF ADKINS is a playwright, screenwriter and artistic director.  Some of his plays include The Fight of a Migrant, The People Before The Park, Pitbulls, and Safe House. Keith received Samuel French’s inaugural Award for Impact and Activism in the Theater Community. He’s a 2015 Helen Merrill Playwright Award recipient and a National Black Theater’s Teer Spirit Awardee.  He’s the artistic director of The New Black Fest, an organization dedicated to new and provocative playwriting and discussion from the African Diaspora. Keith currently writes for Katori Hall’s new TV drama for Starz.  He also wrote for Shondaland’s For The People on ABC and CBS’ The Good Fight. He’s also developing a feature film with Max Borenstein’s Inkubate Entertainment.