Before rehearsals for Pipeline began, director Steve H. Broadnax III shared what he loves about Dominique Morisseau’s writing, and why he’s excited to return to Actors Theatre and bring this play to life for Louisville audiences.
“I am one of the primary directors of Dominique Morisseau’s work, and she’s also a friend of mine. I just love her voice. It ’s a voice of activism, one that gives a platform to communities who aren’t often heard—especially African-American communities and the working class. Every time I see or work on one of her plays, I’m very moved. She’s amazing!
Coming back to Actors Theatre is also always a pleasure. I was thrilled when I was selected to direct Pipeline; I loved working on Skeleton Crew at Actors last season. In fact, we had such great success with that show that we’ve brought back most of the same design team to create the world of Pipeline. One of the actors from Skeleton Crew is also back: Patrese D. McClain, who played Shanita, is portraying Nya in this production. From Arkansas originally, I’m a Southern boy who often visited Actors Theatre growing up, so having the opportunity to work here is a dream.
I think Pipeline is an exploration of what it means to raise black youth, especially a black male. It asks us to consider how we can nurture young black men. How can we cater to their needs? I’m hoping that audiences will leave thinking more deeply and empathetically, beyond the rage-filled stereotypes presented to us in the media. This play reminds us that they need a voice, and a place to be, in order to prosper and reach their full potential.”
~ compiled By Hannah Rae Montgomery
Playwright’s Rules of Engagement
You are allowed to laugh audibly.
You are allowed to have audible moments of reaction and response.
My work requires a few “um hmms” and “uhn uhnns” should you need to use them.
Just maybe in moderation. Only when you really need to vocalize.
This can be church for some of us, and testifying is allowed.
This is also live theatre and the actors need you to engage with them, not distract them or thwart their performance.
Please be an audience member that joins with others and allows a bit of breathing room. Exhale together. Laugh together. Say “amen” should you need to.
This is community. Let ’s go.
~ Dominique Morisseau
Overview: Nya, a single mother teaching at an inner-city public school, wants what’s best for her teenage son, Omari—even if it means sending him to a private school far from their neighborhood. But when an explosive classroom incident threatens Omari’s future, Nya must reevaluate the choices she’s made as a parent and educator. In this lyrical and timely drama, acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau urgently calls attention to the limitations of our education system and the legacy of violence confronting black youth in America. Audience advisory: Contains mature content, strong language and herbal cigarette smoking. Age recommendation: 14+
by Dominique Morisseau
directed by Steve H. Broadnax III
The show will run January 8th – February 2nd. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.