On Juneteenth, Friday, June 19, we were honored to welcome playwright Dominique Morisseau to lead the latest installment of our Friday Night Salon Series, focused on Art & Insurrection. Dominique reads from three of her works: Sunset Baby, Skeleton Crew and Pipeline as inspiration for the below writing prompts.
Thinking about a time of social junk or social dynamite that we’re in right now, like Damon speaks about in Sunset Baby. What does social junk look like? What does social dynamite look like? Imagine you are talking to Kenyatta and he asks, “Which one are you?” What do you say? And what defines you as such?
Imagine, like Shanita, that there is a job or a trade or a life that defines you and brings you pride. What is it? What about it gives you pride or purpose? What would it mean to you if the industry ceased to exist beyond this moment (of pandemic)? Is there a part of it that is indestructible to you? What is worth “riding til’ the wheels fall off” in your life?
Imagine, like Omari, of the rules that govern you. If people could know exactly how to treat you to make you emotionally safe and able to exist fully without restriction, what would be your ten-step rules for them to follow? And if you have time, decide who needs to hear them first, and set up how you would like to present these rules to them. (i.e. Omari said to his mother, “I’ve been thinking about what you asked.” What is your character’s intro?)
Our Friday Night Salons—now open to the public—are a space for our community to learn from and write with some incredible authors, poets, journalists, and novelists. The Girls Write Now Friday Night Salon Series is an extension of our Writing Works Program.
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 Theater 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 TONY nominated book writer on the new Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations (Imperial Theatre). Dominique is the 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. She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series “Shameless” (3 seasons). Additional 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 (2), Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, Variety’s Women of Impact for 2017-18, and a recent MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow.