SMTD Announces Dominique Morisseau as 2023 Commencement Speaker

Headshot: Dominique MorisseauThe School of Music, Theatre & Dance is pleased to announce that award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau (BFA ’00, theatre & drama) will be the guest speaker at the 2023 SMTD commencement ceremony in Hill Auditorium.

Morisseau is the author of the three-play cycle The Detroit Project. This cycle consists of Skeleton Crew (which premiered at Atlantic Theater Company before transferring to Broadway), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem, and National Black Theatre). Her additional plays include Confederates (Signature Theatre), Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theatre), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre), Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre), and Follow Me to Nellie’s (Premiere Stages). The Broadway production of Skeleton Crew was nominated for three Tony Awards in 2022, including a nod for best play. Morisseau also earned a Tony nomination as the book writer on the Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, which opened at the Imperial Theatre in 2019. 

In addition to her work in theatre, Morisseau has been involved in several television and film projects. She served as co-producer on the Showtime series Shameless, and she wrote the film adaptation of the documentary STEP for Fox Searchlight. She is currently developing projects with Netflix and HBO. 

Morisseau has been honored with the Spirit of Detroit Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper Prize, TEER Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Audelco Awards, NBFT August Wilson Playwriting Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, two Obie Awards, and the Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship. She was named one of Variety’s Women of Impact for 2017–18 and was honored as a MacArthur Fellow (also known as a MacArthur Genius Grant) in 2018.


In this video, Morisseau welcomes students to the start of a new academic year and looks ahead to spring commencement.