Paradise Blue

by  Dominique Morisseau

Full Length Play, Drama  /  3m, 2f

This dynamic and musically-infused drama shines light on the challenges of building a better future on the foundation of what our predecessors have left us.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 2f
  • Duration


    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades


    L. Arnold Weisssberger Award for Playwriting
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Blue, a gifted trumpeter, contemplates selling his once-vibrant jazz club in Detroit’s Blackbottom neighborhood to shake free the demons of his past and better his life. But where does that leave his devoted Pumpkin, who has dreams of her own? And what does it mean for the club’s resident bebop band? When a mysterious woman with a walk that drives men mad comes to town with her own plans, everyone’s world is turned upside down. This dynamic and musically-infused drama shines light on the challenges of building a better future on the foundation of what our predecessors have left us.
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  • 2012 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award Winner



"Intriguing...vibrant...Morisseau is trying to tell a fuller, deeper story about Detroit than the one that is told by headlines." - Boston Globe, Read More 

"The finest new play of the year...You must see this play." - Berkshire Edge, Read More 

"...a juicy and resonant piece of writing, filled to the brim with complex, empathetic characters struggling and infighting as part of a community living under extreme duress. It is not hard to become involved with their choices and worry about their futures." - Chicago Tribune, Read More


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Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance



  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Detroit, Michigan (in a small Black community formerly known as Blackbottom - on the downtown strip known as Paradise Valley). Paradise Club. 1949.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


3m, 2f
PUMPKIN - Black woman. Late 20’s/Early 30’s. Pretty in a plain way. Simple. Sweet. Waitress, cook and caretaker of Paradise Club. A loving thing with a soft touch. Adores poetry.
BLUE - Black man. Mid -Late 30’s to early 40’s. Handsome. Mysterious. Sexy. Quiet danger. Aloof. A hard shell and a hard interior. Battling many demons. A gifted trumpeteer.
CORN - (aka Cornelius) Black man. Late 40’s to Early 50’s. Slightly chubby. Easygoing and Thoughtful. A real sweetheart with a weakness for love. The pianoman.
P-SAM - (aka Percussion Sam) Black man. Mid/ Late 30’s. Busybody. Sweet-talker. Hustler. Always eager for his next gig. The percussionist.
SILVER - Black woman. Late 30’s to Early 40’s. Mysterious. Sexy. Charming. Spicy woman. Gritty and raw in a way that men find irresistible. Has a meeeeaaaannnn walk.
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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)


Available Services



Dominique Morisseau

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), ...

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Paradise Blue premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA in July 2012 under the direction of Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

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