“When I know I can bring value, dignity, integrity, honor, passion, fight, and humor to a story because I understand its world or its people, I am usually all in.” – Dominique Morisseau
For me, the quote above is at the heart of SUNSET BABY. This is a play that, on the surface, is about a couple of drug dealers and a convicted felon, yet it quickly reveals itself to be the story of a family of fighters who have overcome great obstacles and made great sacrifices to survive and to be in a position to make a better life for themselves.
Dominique Morisseau is one of the most exciting playwrights in America today. A native of Detroit, Ms. Morisseau tells stories that historically have not been told on stage, and yet reflect the world for so many people in our nation – particularly here in the cities of the rustbelt. She continues in the tradition of writers like Langston Hughes and August Wilson, yet breaks new ground through the themes she tackles and the visceral voice she gives to her characters. Ms. Morisseau is a master of dialogue, and SUNSET BABY (like many of her other works) is a language play, full of prose that illuminates both the plight of her characters and a greater meaning for her audience.
While some things have improved in American since the time of the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s, much remains unchanged – the criminal justice system, cycle of poverty, and institutional racism (just to name a few.) Morisseau has said, about much of the art being created today, "We are all writing about the themes of love and power and power struggle and economics." If things in our world are going to change, and if we are going to be a country that reflects the angels of our better nature, it will start with listening to each other. SUNSET BABY allows us the privilege of listening to Nina, Damon, and Kenyatta so that in that listening, we might find more empathy and a better understanding.
We hope you enjoy SUNSET BABY, the opening production of Dobama’s 59th Season. We look forward to welcoming you back throughout the year as we champion the work of six extraordinary playwrights. We are grateful for your ongoing support. Please do us the honor of helping us continue our important mission by spreading the word about Dobama – Cleveland Off-Broadway Theatre.
With Love & Respect,