Artist Spotlight: Dominique Morisseau and Dee Dee Batteast

February 24, 2024

It takes an entire team to bring any production to life, and that work starts with two individuals: the playwright and the director. Join us in looking back at the careers and accolades of the multi-hyphenate artists Dominique Morisseau and Dee Dee Batteast.

Playwright Dominique Morisseau

Born in Detroit with familial roots in Mississippi and Haiti, Dominique Morisseau’s involvement in theatre at a young age would lead her to the BFA Acting Program at the University of Michigan. Following her graduation in 2000, she would spend the next decade exploring different forms of expression from dance, to acting, to poetry slams, and finally to playwriting.

Dominique Morisseau is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle), which includes the following plays: Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays include: Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theatre), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre); Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre) and Follow Me To Nellie’s (Premiere Stages). She is also the Tony-nominated book writer on the Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Imperial Theatre).

Dominique is an alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, Women’s Project Lab and Lark Playwrights Workshop, and has developed work at Sundance Lab, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference. She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series Shameless (3 seasons).

Additional awards include: 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, Obie Award (2), Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, Variety’s Women of Impact for 2017-18, and a recent MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow.

"I can't write a story until I know what my characters are willing to fight or die for, then I know who they are." — Dominique Morisseau

Director Dee Dee Batteast

Dee Dee Batteast is currently adjunct acting faculty for Ball State’s BFA program. She teaches courses in beginning acting, audition, and one-person shows. She is also a proud alumnus of Ball State (07).

Ms. Batteast is also a writer. Her self-produced one-woman show, NO AIDS, NO MAIDS, enjoyed a successful run at the Washington DC Fringe Festival, where it received the Capital Fringe Honors: Favorite Show of Fringe and Favorite Solo Performance. Ms. Batteast’s regional directing credits include The Thin Place at Gloucester Stage, People Where They Are at Clarence Brown Theatre, plus The Revolutionists and The Conviction of Lady Lorraine (written and starring by Skeleton Crew lead Dwandra Nickole Lampkin) here at Farmers Alley Theatre.

Dee Dee received her MFA in acting from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she spent 3 years as a company member of PlayMakers Repertory Theatre.  Some of her recent regional acting credits include: Merry Wives of Windsor and The Royale at American Players Theatre, Clyde’s at Studio Theatre, A Christmas Carol and Ohio State Murders at The Goodman, and Detroit 67’ at The Clarence Brown Theatre. She has also worked at Virginia Stage Company, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Indiana Repertory Theatre. Television credits include “Chicago Fire,” “The Shinning Girls,” and “Chicago Med.”

Hear Dominique's words brought to life by Dee Dee’s direction in Skeleton Crew, playing at Farmers Alley Theatre March 7 through March 17, 2024. Get your tickets here.