"We are artists. We are in service."
Renowned American playwright Dominique Morisseau, recipient of a 2018 MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant," told a rapt St. Francis College audience that successful writers should always think of themselves first as storytellers who are in service to their work.
During a March 27th Q&A with Ben Snyder, the Dramatic Writing Coordinator for St. Francis College's MFA Program, Detroit-native Morisseau discussed her path from enrolling as a drama student at the University of Michigan to becoming an award-winning television writer and playwright, whose latest work Ain't Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations, is currently on Broadway.
Morisseau stressed the need for writers – particularly those from backgrounds absent in the traditional theatrical "canon" – to assemble their own communities of like-minded artists who will share in their creative pursuits. She encouraged young writers of color to "get in good trouble" by, in part, taking unapologetic inspiration from other writers who are not necessarily central to the traditional theatrical curriculum.
Prior to Morisseau's discussion, actor Dominique Fishback, Darlene from the HBO series The Deuce, performed one of Morisseau's monologues.