Dominique Morisseau has pulled the Los Angeles premiere of her Paradise Blue at Geffen Playhouse, claiming a number of abuses against Black women took place behind the scenes. In a Facebook post, the Tony-nominated playwright said “harm was allowed to fester. Grow. And go unchecked. I caught wind of it, as I was not involved in the process. I then investigated it personally. And ultimately, refused to stand for it.”
In a subsequent statement, the Geffen confirmed the cancellation and acknowledged the company fell short of its best practices to keep all workers feeling safe. “An incident between members of the production was brought to our attention and we did not respond decisively in addressing it.”
Specific details surrounding the incidents were not released by either party.
The Geffen had worked with Morisseau previously, including for the 2018 L.A. premiere of her play Skeleton Crew. "I thought of this place as one of my first West Coast homes for theatre. I don’t have many," the playwright wrote. "And any theatre that has ever worked with me directly knows that I am generous. Beyond generous. I help with their programming. I go above and beyond. I make myself in service of the work, and in service of theatre at large, because I believe in it as the pathway to illuminate a new future. But I am not taking business-as-usual into that future. I am not taking the normalization of abuse against anyone into the future of this field."
While the West Coast premiere was interrupted, Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew will continue as planned on Broadway. Previews for the Manhattan Theatre Club production are set to begin December 21 at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.