Posted in On The Radar

Re-Opening of Broadway with a Fresh New Line-up!!

The curtains will rise again, this Fall, as Broadway theaters will be opening its doors after being shutdown for a year and half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A select new group of plays have been scheduled to premiere through the rest of this year!! But there is more….all seven plays on the fall line-up are by Black playwriters!! Theaters biggest stage will highlight a wide variety of stories including family comedy, drama, hope, survival, and much more! Check out the full line-up below:

  • Pass Over: Setting the tone and beginning the season is playwright Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s three-person play Pass Over directed by Danya Taymor.

A riff on Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ following two black men killing time on a street corner when a white man enters their space.

  • Chicken & Biscuits: Hitting the Broadway stage for the time, Douglas Lyons new play will also feature the youngest Black director in Broadway’s 250+ year history, 27-year-old Zhailon Levingston

The Jenkins family is coming together to celebrate the life of their father — hopefully without killing each other. But any hopes for a peaceful reunion unravel when a family secret shows up at the funeral.

  • Lackawanna Blues: Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson writes, directs, and performs his solo play in which he “embodies more than 20 vibrant characters, creating a richly textured reminiscence that’s inspiring, uplifting and right at home on Broadway.”

Time: 1956. Place: Lackawanna, NY. Would-be philosophers, petty hustlers, lost souls, and abandoned lovers all find refuge, comfort and nourishment at 32 Wasson Avenue, a boarding house where the landlady, Miss Rachel – “Nanny” – rules with the embracing spirit of both earth mother and drill sergeant.

  • Thoughts of a Colored Man: With an ALL-STAR cast ensemble (Dyllón Burnside, Bryan Terrell Clark, Da’vinchi, Luke James, Forrest Mcclendon, Tristan “Mack” Wilds and Keith David), playwright Keenan Scott II and director Steve H. Broadnax III brings to the stage “a mosaic of the inner lives of Black men and heralds the arrival of an essential new voice to the American theater.”

Over the course of a single day in the pulsing heart of Brooklyn, the hopes, sorrows, fears, and joys of seven men reverberate far beyond the barbershops and basketball courts of their community. Vulnerable and vibrant, raw and alive — these are the Thoughts of a Color Man.

  • Trouble in Mind: Originally produced off-Broadway in 1955, a Broadway transfer of the play was announced in 1957, but the production never happened. The acclaimed play from Alice Childress makes its Broadway debut with director Charles Wright-Randolph at the helm.

Wiletta Mayer, an African American actress of a certain age, has spent her career playing stereotypes, trapped on a merry-go-round of mammies, maids, and other menials. The curtain rises on the first day of rehearsal for Chaos in Belleville, a Broadway-bound play that tackles the harsh truths of racism in America. But when those truths spill out of the play and into the rehearsal hall, will Wiletta’s insistence on her dignity cost her the work she desperately needs?

  • Clyde’s: A new play from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and director Kate Whoriskey that explores second-chances, reclamation, and what it means to dream.

A truck stop sandwich shop offers its formerly incarcerated kitchen staff a shot at redemption. Even as the shop’s callous owner tries to keep them under her thumb, the staff members are given purpose and permission to dream by their shared quest to create the perfect sandwich.

  • Skeleton Crew: Written by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Skeleton Crew navigates power dynamics and the power of decision-making.

A makeshift family of workers at the last exporting auto plant in the city navigate the possibility of foreclosure. Power dynamics shift and they are pushed to the limits of survival. The final play of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit trilogy.

Nothing like seeing Black voices and stories take center stage. As noted by Broadway Black founder Drew Shade,

Seven Black shows coming to Broadway — it’s unprecedented. It’s what we would like to see, especially after the racial reckoning we’ve had in this society over the past year, and more specifically in the theater industry. But we also have to be realistic about the placement of the shows. We have to be realistic about what this may mean for Black artists going forward.

This fall theater season is going to be FIRE!! And I look forward to catching a few of these shows in the coming months!!

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