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Warm Lights

Ann Eskridge
Novelist, Playwright, Educator

Ann's Credits: Projects

Ann E. Eskridge, the founding member of Detroit’s  Extra Mile Playwrights Theatre, is a 2021 Kresge Fellow. She received the Black Metropolitan Research Consortium Fellowship and participated in Brazil's Fulbright Hays Group Project Abroad program. Her writing covers various topics, including the Underground Railroad, all-black towns in Oklahoma, New Orleans’ free people of color, the Gullah community on the Sea Islands, and Chicago’s black tin pan alley.


Eskridge's screenplay, Brother Future, was made into a PBS Wonderworks movie, which won several awards. She also wrote a book and play called The Sanctuary, Cobblehill, 1994, which was optioned by Producer Bill Blinn (Fame) and Sundance. Two monologues from The Sanctuary are included in Childsplay, an anthology of children’s play monologues. The play was also the basis for a Detroit children’s grief and bereavement program.


Eskridge has written three musicals: Satin Doll, a reinterpretation of Pygmalion from a black perspective; Echoes Across the Prairie, about the founding of a fictional all-black town in Oklahoma; and The Chicken Never Crossed, about the impact of Detroit’s urban renewal on Hastings Street, Detroit’s Black mecca. The Chicken Never Crossed won the Musical Theatre category at the 2022 Obsidian Theatre Festival.


Her play If Pekin is a Duck, Why am I in Chicago?, explores the history of the first black musical theater in the country: The Pekin. Pekin premiered in January 2023 at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tenn.

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Satin Doll

A Musical

Satin Doll, a full-length musical comedy, is the black version of Pygmalion.

Slave Uprisings and Runaways

Fighting for Freedom and the Underground Railroad 

A Middle School book on slavery in America.

The Raven

A Novel

Two young men, one black and the other white are Underground Railroad conductors during the most dangerous period in slavery.

The Sanctuary

A Play

Sanctuary, a play, is about 10-year-old Little Man who recently learned of his estranged father’s death.

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Smiling Man

Winner in the Musical Theater Category 2022 Obsidian Theatre Festival

A Musical

Through urban renewal, Hastings Street in Detroit will make way for a highway. One business is hoping that they don’t get a notice to move.

Last of Ken

A Play

What happens when your dead relatives have an intervention because they think your life sucks? That’s what happens to Ken Jones

Brother Future

A black teenager from Detroit is running away from police, gets hit by a car, and knocked unconscious into Charleston, South Carolina 1822, where everyone thinks he’s a runaway slave.

Echos Across the Prairie
A Musical

What if you, a woman, single-handedly built a town, but the men of the town wouldn’t let you have a say in running it?

If Pekin is a Duck? Why am I in Chicago?

A Play with Music

A black gangster in 1918 in Chicago kidnaps a lyricist and a composer in order to get them to write a song that eventually will give him the money and reputation necessary to buy back the first black musical theater in the country and restore it to its former glory.

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