Award-Winning Playwright Discusses Ain't Too Proud

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with award-winning playwright and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, Dominique Morisseau, on her new Broadway hit, Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.

5/22/19 #2220






"You know, that's a play you're gonna want to see. I know I'm gonna go see it. And the young lady who's with us right now is the playwright, Dominique Morisseau. Yes. Who is the playwright of Ain’t Too Proud to Beg: The Life and Times of The Temptations at the Imperial Theatre, West 45th Street, New York City. Amazing. Yeah. How proud are you? I'm so excited. I love... I love working on this show. I love telling the story. You know. Why? Oh, I grew up on The Temptations. You know, my mother... Well you act like you're from Detroit! [laughter] Exactly. Yeah you know. You are? I am. And my whole family is. And you know this is the music of my mother's generation, but my generation grew up on it too especially if you're from Detroit, because we can't get away from Motown there. You know. So it's very special in my life to be able to get to this moment, to tell the story of our favorite hometown group. A hard story to tell? Complicated. Complicated? Yeah. Let folks know a little bit, just a little bit, so they still want to go see it. Well yeah. I mean, you know, there... The Temptations went through a lot as a group, you know, just not only to form and to finally make a hit as a group, but to also deal, you know, be the face of integration in the nation at the time when the nation was not trying to be favorable to that. You know. Explain that. You know it was... this is during the Civil Rights Era, and I think it's to have these young black artists, these African-American men, who are still figuring out who they are and trying to connect to each other as a group and deal with just normal growing up, ego things that go on when you're creating a group, but then also to have to, you know weather that in the middle of the nation being in great civic unrest, and then you as musicians are being used to sort of bring the nation together, but you are also not allowed to be places in your own skin that you're in. I mean it's a complicated matter. And for me, it feels very contemporary, because we have artists right now that are dealing with the duality of being, you know, mainstream artists, but also at a time when their other rights and their human rights and other places are being greatly ignored, or you know, disrespected human rights, you know. So I think it's trying to figure out how you're going to... what your art is gonna be about. And how you're gonna..."