Dominique Morisseau withdraws a play from the theater of LA, citing "Harm"

Playwright Dominique Morisseau ended the airing of her play “Paradise Blue” just a week after it opened at the Geffen Playhouse in Los A...


Playwright Dominique Morisseau ended the airing of her play “Paradise Blue” just a week after it opened at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, saying the black women who worked on the series had been “verbally abused and diminished.”

Morisseau did not describe precisely what happened. But in a 1,100 word Facebook message on Wednesday, she said that members of the creative team were “allowed to behave disrespectfully”, that she asked a team member for an apology and that “instead of strongly supporting this, the Geffen continued to allow more abuse “.

“The evil could have escalated,” Morisseau said in the Facebook post.

“I gave the theater an ultimatum,” she added. “Respect the Black womxn artists who work on my show, or I will remove my piece.” “

In a statement about the cancellation, the Geffen Playhouse said officials had “apologized to everyone involved” and admitted they “failed” in their commitment to the artists.

“An incident between members of the production was brought to our attention and we did not respond decisively to remedy it”, the theater’s statement, released on Wednesday, said. “As a result of these missteps, some members of the production felt in danger and were not fully supported.”

“Paradise Blue”, which takes place in 1949, is part of Morisseau’s work detroit coin trilogy, which were widely produced in theaters across the country. it played Off Broadway in 2018; Geffen’s production had opened to strong criticism November 18 and was to last until December 12.

“Skeleton Crew,” another play in the trilogy, is scheduled to begin Broadway performances on December 21.

The theater declined to comment beyond its written statements. Morisseau did not respond to a request for further comment.

Morisseau’s decision to remove the play from what she described as the mistreatment of black performers and the dismissal of their complaints comes as the theater continues to grapple with how to reform and improve its culture.

Protests against the murder of George Floyd by police in the summer of 2020 sparked a national awareness of the racism and inequality in America that resonated throughout the world of theater. As artists prepared to return from the long pandemic shutdown, some became more outspoken about what they say are pervasive issues in the industry.

This summer, Broadway Energy Brokers signed a pact pledging to strengthen industry diversity practices such as cinemas were preparing to reopen.

In his Facebook post, Morisseau, who won a Tony Award nomination as a book author for “Isn’t that too proud: the life and times of temptations”– said she was “gutted” by what happened with “Paradise Blue”.

She urged the theater industry to “look within and recognize a pervasive culture of anti-black, anti-woman and anti-black woman.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Dominique Morisseau withdraws a play from the theater of LA, citing "Harm"
Dominique Morisseau withdraws a play from the theater of LA, citing "Harm"
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