The title of Pipeline refers to the troublingly well-worn path that shunts students—particularly young men of color—from school straight into prison, with law enforcement called in to handle infractions that would earn more privileged students just get a slap on the wrist. “It’s relevant all across the country,” says Penumbra Theatre founder Lou Bellamy, who’s directing the company’s production. “Every minute we lose in not inspiring a young mind will cost us down the line. This play deals with a family who has a young boy, and the young boy is in a private school where he’s sort of given the responsibility of being a representative for his race. The weight is too much for him, and he cracks.” Acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau won raves for Pipeline when it opened off-Broadway in 2017, with Variety calling it “an emotionally harrowing, ethically ambiguous drama.” Bellamy says Penumbra has co-commissioned an upcoming Civil War play, Confederates, by the MacArthur Genius Grant winner. “I just really, really am impressed with her voice,” he says.