Dominique Morisseau, the author of Skeleton Crew, the compelling final play in her Detroit trilogy which focuses on a group of Detroit auto workers, won the 2015 Steinberg Playwright Award, which honors promising dramatists with $50,000 grants apiece. But, for online denizens at least, she may be best known right now for the essay she wrote in December in American Theatre Magazine, “Why I Almost Slapped a Fellow Theater Patron, and What That Says About Our Theaters.” , about an encounter she had with an older white woman, who gave her free tickets to a show but asked her to quiet down during the performance. Morisseau’s use of this incident to expound upon white privilege in the theater and “microaggressions” generated an avalanche of online and social media commentary, most of it not supportive.
That essay might make me reluctant to sit next to Dominique Morisseau in a theater, but Skeleton Crew is just the latest of her plays to make me eager to see her work on stage.
Click on any of the photographs by Ahron Foster to see them enlarged.