Dominique Morisseau’s most radical play yet follows two Black women living more than a century apart as they struggle to free themselves from parallel systems of oppression.
Confederatestells the story of two women in what at first appear to be radically different circumstances. Sara is an enslaved rebel ferrying information from her master’s house to nearby Union soldiers. Sandra is a political science professor enduring misogynoir at a predominantly white university. As the play progresses, the line between the past and the present blurs, leading the audience to question how far we have come since 1865—and how far we still have to go.
In Morisseau’s words, “I don’t believe in the inhumanity of the enslaved.” This play delves into serious themes with a satirical tone, never allowing the audience to forget the full complexity of enslaved people—their humor, their sexuality, and their intelligence—alongside their pain. In its thematic ambition and its finesse with sharply-contrasting tones, Confederatesis a major work by one of America’s most exciting playwrights.
Dominique Morisseau’s work includes Ain’t Too Proud to Beg: The Life and Times of the Temptations; Sunset Baby; and The Detroit Project: a three-play cycle examining the sociopolitical history of Detroit, Morisseau’s hometown (Paradise Blue, Detroit ’69, and Skeleton Crew). She has been awarded the Steinberg Playwright Award, the Spirit of Detroit Award, a PoNY Fellowship, the Sky Cooper New American Play Prize, and two Obie Awards.
“With Confederates, Morisseau leaves the confines of realism that she has negotiated so well to this point in her career and offers a challenging new paradigm, here as a way to examine the familiar and evolving trials of Black women and their successes in America.” —Exeunt NYC
“Beautiful language that’s wedded to tales of adversity — the play is full of such paradoxes, another one being that Confederates is a work about racism that is truly funny.” —New York Times
“Morisseau’s voice gets fiercer and richer the farther she gets from naturalism.” —Vulture
“Because Morisseau is best known as the accomplished author of straightforward social dramas like Pipeline and Skeleton Crew, the audacious shifts of timeframe and tone in Confederates come as a bit of a surprise. She pulls it off with power and finesse.” —Time Out New York