City of Detroit, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, join the Black Theatre Network (BTN) to host “Broadway Comes Home to Detroit,” a celebration of Detroit Tony Award winners and nominees


City of Detroit, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, join the Black Theatre Network (BTN) to host “Broadway Comes Home to Detroit,” a celebration of Detroit Tony Award winners and nominees

DETROIT - Detroit’s Broadway stars are coming home on July 24 when the City of Detroit, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and the Black Theatre Network host a press conference and homecoming reception to celebrate one of the best Broadway seasons for Detroit and black thespians ever.

Mayor Mike Duggan will honor Michael R. Jackson, Dominique Morisseau, Ron Simons, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Marilyn McCormick, Chante Adams, and theatre legend Woodie King, Jr. at the 3PM press conference in the Rotunda of The Wright. The mayor will unveil a bust of King that will live at the Wright. The press event, which will be live-streamed, will be followed by the public reception.

The celebration opens the 36th annual convention of the Black Theatre Network, the national organization dedicated to the exploration and preservation of the theatrical visions of the African Diaspora. The organization plans to open an office in Detroit to cement a partnership with the Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship to elevate Black theatre in the city.

The reception will be followed by a BTN presentation in the General Motors Theatre on the history of Black theatre in Detroit. The conversation will feature King, Wayne State Professor, historian, and playwright Bill Harris and Detroit native Michael Dinwiddie, an associate professor of dramatic writing at New York University. The conversation will be moderated by Rochelle Riley, the City’s Director of Arts and Culture. “Detroit’s theatre history is so rich, so heralded and so hidden,” Riley said. “Diahann Carroll became the first African American to win a Tony Award in a play that first premiered at the Fisher Theatre here.”

Both events require registration:


BTN conversation:

Our star honorees are:


Michael R. Jackson, a Cass Tech graduate, is the recipient of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize and the 2022
Tony Award winner for best his musical titled “A Strange Loop.”


Dominique Morisseau, award-winning playwright, MacArthur genius and Detroit Public Theatre
Executive Artistic Director, has had 10 shows on Broadway and opens her brilliant “Ain’t Too Proud”
in August in Detroit. In February, hundreds of Detroiters flocked to New York to celebrate a record
number of Detroiters being in or working on shows this season. That night, Mayor Duggan spoke at
the opening of Morisseau’s play, “Skeleton Crew,” which won veteran actress Phylicia Rashad her
first Tony. Morisseau also was nominated.


Ron Simons, four-time Tony Award-winning producer and Detroit native is CEO of SimonSays
Entertainment. Mr. Simons productions include: “For Colored Girls,” “Jitney” and “A Gentleman’s
Guide to Love and Murder.”


Ruben Santiago-Hudson, a Tony, Drama Desk, and Obie Award winner, was director of the recent, Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of August Wilson’s “Jitney,” which garnered several awards, including the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award and the N.Y. Drama Critics Circle Award. Santiago-Hudson has been nominated for Tony Awards six times.


Chante Adams, winner of Essence’s Ford Vanguard Award for Black Women in Hollywood, has had
leading roles in the Netflix biopic “Roxanne, Roxanne” and the Denzel Washington-directed “A
Journal for Jordan.” She also starred in Morisseau’s “Skeleton Crew.”


Marilyn McCormick, iconic, retired Cass Technical High School theater educator, received a 2016
Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education. McCormick’s decades-long dedication as an
influencer has inspired many of her students, including Dominique Morisseau, to excel in their crafts
and careers.


Woodie King, Jr. is a legendary American director and producer of stage and screen and the founding director of the New Federal Theatre in New York. He graduated high school in 1956 in Detroit and worked at the Ford Motor Company for three years. He then worked for the City of Detroit as a draftsman before turning his sights on brighter lights. He is affectionately known as the “Star-Maker” for his career developing and supporting Black talent.


BTN’s annual conference, “Scripting the Flip: Black Theatre ACT III,” will bring more than 100 theatre professionals to offer training and theatrical events to Detroiters for four days. Among highlights are:

  • The world premiere of the musical “Hastings Street,” presented by Detroit's Plowshares Theatre.
  • The BTN Awards Luncheon, where four-time Tony Award-winning producer and Detroit native Ron Simons of SimonSays Entertainment will receive the Pathfinder Award and acclaimed producer Dominique Morisseau will receive the Apple Award from the Nederlander Foundation

The full schedule of classes and workshops can be found at and theatre professionals across southeast Michigan are encouraged to become members.

About the Black Theatre Network
The Black Theatre Network’s primary function is to expose the beauty and complexity of the inherited theatre work of our African American ancestors and to take this work to a higher level through the 21st century and beyond. We seem to unite those who share this rich inheritance to ensure that we all work TOGETHER.

About Detroit ACE
The Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship oversees the City’s investments in arts, culture and history. It develops opportunities for residents to experience music and art in neighborhoods across the city and offers support for one of the nation’s greatest creative workforces.