College of Charleston Theatre and Dance (CofC Stages) to Open Season with ‘Pipeline’

“Pipeline is an emotionally harrowing, ethically ambiguous drama that raises questions about class, race, parental duty, and the state of American education.” –Variety

Exploring the struggles of educational equity and institutionalized segregation, “Pipeline” by 2018 MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow Dominique Morisseau (“The Detroit Project,” “Skeleton Crew,” co-producer on Showtime’s “Shameless”) will open the 2021-2022 performance season for the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

With profound compassion and lyricism, “Pipeline” brings an urgent conversation powerfully to the fore; a deeply moving story of a mother’s fight to give her son a future — without turning her back on the community that made him who he is.

The plot centers on an inner-city public high school teacher who is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son, Omari, opportunities they’ll never have.

When a controversial incident at his upstate private school threatens to get Omari expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent.

The play is directed by alumnus and noted actor, writer and director, Michael Smallwood and is recommended for ages 14+.

Smallwood shares, “As an actor, director, educator and Black man in America, I find “Pipeline” to be one of the most poignant and engaging plays written in the last five years. The questions it raises about parenting, education, institutional racism, and self-actualization are incredibly important to both the students working on the show and the audiences who will get a chance to see it. It’s my great honor to return to the College of Charleston, where I was educated, to guide these exceptionally talented students through Dominique Morisseau’s masterpiece.”

The production is supported by the College’s Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), whose 2021-2022 theme “sustainable cities and communities” correlates to the story and takeaways of “Pipeline.” The CSD aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to solve future challenges of social justice, economic disparity and looming environmental concerns. CofC Stages is committed to exploring these critical sustainability challenges – “triple bottom line” (social, environmental, economic systems) – this season and every season.

Theatre students comprise the cast and crew, and the show’s designers include students Savannah Fatigante (Costume Design) and Ellie Ford (Scenic Concept), and guest designer Caleb Garner (Sound Design).

DETAILS: In-person performances at the Chapel Theatre (172 Calhoun St.) are on Sept. 24-27 and Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Curtain time is at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of Sunday, Sept. 26 at 2:00pm only. Discounted season ticket packages are available for all seven CofC Stages productions. Individual tickets are $20 adults; $15 seniors (60+), military, and youth under 18; $12 CofC students, faculty, and staff. Purchase season packages or individual tickets online at or contact the George Street Box Office by emailing or calling (843) 953-4726.

College of Charleston COVID safety guidelines currently require face masks, social distancing, and limited capacity of 75 guests in Chapel Theatre. Guidelines and performances are subject to change.

The College’s 2021-2022 theatre and dance season brings important conversations to the forefront and challenges audiences to think about their choices, relationships, and what it means to be part of a community while navigating how to live your best life. The diverse production season offers plays, dance, musical theatre, and opera — featuring guest artists, new faculty and invited collaborators. Production details and season-pass/ticket info are listed at



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