February 25, 2014 at 1:00 am

'Detroit '67,' play based on Detroit riots, wins top prize

Dominique Morisseau’s play about Detroit Riots, “Detroit ’67,” has won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. The announcement was made Monday by Columbia University and Jean Kennedy Smith.

Morisseau’s drama reveals a close look at the Detroit riots of July 1967 through two black siblings who’ve inherited their home and disagree on plans for how to use it, and also a battered white woman rescued by the brother and a friend and brought to the house.

The drama premiered in March 2013 through the Public Theater in partnership with the Classical Theater of Harlem and the National Black Theater. It’s the first installment in a three-play cycle about Detroit, Morisseau’s hometown.

The award includes a $100,000 cash prize and assistance from the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning at Columbia University Libraries for creating a teaching website that will put the work in historical context, offering study guides and scholarly discussions.

Other finalists for the prize include “Appropriate” by Branden Jacobsons-Jenkins; “Fun Home” by Lisa Kron and Jeannie Tesori; “Party People” by Universes, a performance ensemble, and “The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry,” by Marcus Gardley.