BY: Nikkole Salter


THE STORY:  2010, Essex County, NJ.  When Denitra loses the

charter school lottery for her daughter, she must find another way

to escape from their underperforming neighborhood school. The 

answer seems like a risk well worth taking, but may end up re-

quiring a bigger sacrifice than she ever could have imagined. Set

over a half-century after Brown Versus The Board of Education, 

LINES IN THE DUST questions how far we've come and more importantly, where we go from here.  (Luna Stage Commission)



Two Acts

2 Women, 1 Man

Graphic by Valerie Sanchez

LINES IN THE DUST was commissioned by and received its world premiere at Luna Stage, October 9 - November 9 , 2014, directed by Reginald Douglas.  For information, photos, videos, audio and links to reviews and press from the Cleveland Public Theatre production click directed by Beth Wood here.  For info from the ETA Creative Arts production directed by Phyllis Griffin click here.  For info from the St. Louis Black Rep's production directed by Ron Himes click here.  For info from the Tennessee Women's Theatre Project production, directed by Maryanna Clarke click here.  For info from the Black Theatre Troupe's production, directed by Pamela Fields click here.  For info from the Jersey City Theater Center's production, directed by Cheryl Katz, click here.


Starring: (l to r) Erin Cherry, Dorcas Sowunmi and Rick Delaney (RIP)

Lighting Design:  Mike Riggs                                                Scenic Design:  Deborah Wheatley
Costume Design:  Deborah Caney                                       Sound Design: Julian Evans

Fight Director:  Dan O'Driscoll                                             Stage Manager:  Dan Viola

Production Designer:  Liz Cesario                                        Props: Brianna McIntyre


Review: NJ Voices/ - LINES IN THE DUST: Discovering what theater is for

By Linda Stamato - 10/14/2014

"This is indeed, what theater is for... While we are riveted by the unfolding story in Millburn, "Lines" is raising questions for us all..."


Review:  NJ Arts Maven - Illuminating "Lines in the Dust" Lights up Luna Stage in West Orange

By Ruth Ross - 10/18/2014

"Once again, the company and playwright have given us riveting, entertaining, illuminating and thought-provoking theater."


Review: Star Ledger/ - 'Lines in the Dust' hits close to home

By Ronni Reich - 10/22/2014

"Salter ... provides pointed insight into the subject, and her thoughtfully drawn female characters carry it compellingly to its conclusion...the knowing laughs, nods and gasps that the play provoked at opening night Friday showed that the recognition went far deeper."


Review:  NJ Examiner - Exceptional theatre at Luna Stage 

By Rick Busciglio - 10/22/2014

"This a beautifully written, powerful, exciting, thought-provoking play impressively directed and performed by three exceptional actors...If you appreciate theater beyond chuckles and high notes, I urge you to journey to West Orange to see "Lines in the Dust." You will be discussing this play and the subject for far more than the ride home."


Review: Pascack Valley Community Life/ - Lines in the Dust is First Rate

By Thom Molyneaux 10/23/2014

First rate theater! ... solid theater. Relevant Theater. Theater that matters.


Review:  [Q] On Stage - "Lines in the Dust" Run Deep at Luna Stage

By Sherri Rase 

“Lines in the Dust,” ... will leave you trembling, body and soul...I found myself deeply affected by the nuances in these complicated characters. This is a play that must be seen, as much for its global relevance as for its local resonance. This is a masterful work that provokes thought while acknowledging past change and encouraging future action...My intellect and my emotion are fully engaged and yours will be too, and that’s what makes positive change... Playwright Salter grabs your heart and your mind like no other."


Review:  NY Times - Passion and Eloquence, Smothered in Explanation

By: Ken Jaworowski 11/03/2014

"It’s an admirable effort, at times reminiscent of the zealous agitprop of Clifford Odets....commendable..."


Feature: NY Times - Homegrown plays reach New Jersey's stages

By Michael Sommers 09/05/2014

“Oh, I am totally taking over New Jersey,” said Nikkole Salter, laughing. The Obie Award-winning co-author of the AIDS drama “In the Continuum,” Ms. Salter will have new plays produced at Luna Stage and Crossroads Theater Company this season.


Feature: NJ Arts Maven - Luna Stage Opens Season with New Play About Segregation in NJ Public Schools

By Ruth Ross - 09/24/2014

"We, as a nation, are losing out." says Ms. Salter. "Collectively, we continue to demonstrate that we believe in our hearts that some people are better than others; some people are inherently more capable than others; some people, based on where they live, are more valuable and more worthy of our investment than others. Nowhere does this make itself more apparent than in our system of public education."


Feature: Star Ledger/ - New play tackles residency fraud in Newark, nearby school districts

By Jessica Mazzola - 10/13/2014

"“We don’t have state-sanctioned segregation anymore, but we have segregated ourselves,” Salter said."


Feature: NJ Stage - Lines in the Dust

By Gary Wien - October 2014

"Salter says that the architects of the legal strategy of the NAACP thought they were reaching their goal with the decision, but they were misguided in one major aspect: changing a law doesn't change hearts."



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