“Pipeline,” by Dominique Morisseau, first opened off-Broadway in 2017. The groundbreaking play tells the story of a Black inner-city public school teacher named Nya and her son Omari. Nya is dedicated to her pupils, but equally determined to give her son Omari better life opportunities via private schooling. We follow their story after Omari lashes out at a teacher who pushes him too far. Can Nya help Omari overcome his anger and sense of injustice, to navigate the pitfalls of an imperfect education system while remaining true to her sense of her community’s ideals? The story shines a light on the “school-to-prison pipeline.” This trend disproportionately affects students in disadvantaged communities, especially Black and Brown communities.
Co-directed by junior Sydné Jackson and sophomore Tioga Simpson, “Pipeline” will be rehearsed and performed entirely virtually by an all-student cast and crew. “Pipeline” is the first play to be presented by Theatre and Dance’s Dreams Affirmed collective, an alliance of students of color from across the Department. It is also a part of the department's annual Student Directed Series.
Born in 1978 Dominique Morisseau is the author of “The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle)” which includes the plays: “Skeleton Crew” (Atlantic Theater Company), “Paradise Blue” (Signature Theatre), and “Detroit ’67” (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Morisseau is a TONY-nominated writer on the new Broadway musical “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations” (Imperial Theatre), and most recently served as co-producer on the Showtime series “Shameless.” Additional awards include: Spirit of Detroit Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper Prize, TEER Trailblazer Award, and a MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow.