Don’t miss these Broadway shows by Black playwrights!
The 2021-22 Broadway season has been brimming with works by Black playwrights. When Broadway returned after its historic shutdown due to Covid-19, The Great White Way looked a lot less white with all seven new plays written by Black playwrights. That’s all the new plays on Broadway this season, except two. After reopening, seven new plays written by Black writers opened on Broadway: Pass Over, Lackawanna Blues, Chicken & Biscuits, Thoughts of A Colored Man, Trouble in Mind, Clyde’s, and Skeleton Crew.
This spring, that work continues. Three new productions — Paradise Square, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf, and A Strange Loop — written by Black playwrights, will open on Broadway in April.
Check out the shows written by Black playwrights opening this spring on Broadway below!
A Strange Loop
A Strange Loop, Michael R. Jackson’s Pulitzer-Prize winning musical directed by Stephen Brackett, will make its Broadway debut in April. This production is the first musical by a Black writer to win the Pulitzer in Drama.
The show is a semi-autobiographical work about a young musical theatre writer named Usher and his process writing a musical about a young musical theatre writer writing a musical. You see the loop? Throughout the show, usher grapples with his desires, identity, and instincts, as he tries to establish his artistic place in the world.
The musical was a hit off Broadway during its 2019 run at Playwrights Horizons before its critically acclaimed pre-Broadway engagement at Washington DC’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre.
The Broadway cast features Jaquel Spivey, in his Broadway debut, as Usher. He joins original off-Broadway cast members Antwayn Hopper (Thought 6), L Morgan Lee (Thought 1), John-Michael Lyles (Thought 3),James Jackson, Jr. (Thought 2), John-Andrew Morrison (Thought 4), and Jason Veasey (Thought 5).
Previews for A Strange Loop will begin at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, and opening night is set for Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
Paradise Square, a new musical about race relations in Five Points, Manhattan during the 1860s, is gearing up to open on Broadway this spring. The story takes place during a time when Irish immigrants, free Black Americans, and those who had escaped slavery coexisted together. The book is written by Black-American playwrights Christina Anderson and Marcus Gardley, in collaboration with writers Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan.
The musical, produced by Garth Drabinsky and directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Moisés Kaufman, will feature a stacked cast of 40, including Tony Award nominee Joaquina Kalukango (Slave Play) and Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) in the leading roles. Additional cast members include Tony Award nominee John Dossett (Newsies, Gypsy), Sidney DuPont (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), A.J. Shively (La Cage aux Folles, Bright Star), Nathaniel Stampley (The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, The Color Purple), Gabrielle McClinton (Pippin, Chicago), Jacob Fishel (Fiddler on the Roof), Kevin Dennis (Canadian productions of Young Frankenstein, Assassins), and Matt Bogart (Smokey Joe’s Café, Miss Saigon).
Previews for Paradise Square begin on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, prior to opening night on Sunday, April 3, 2022 at Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf
The highly anticipated revival of Ntozake Shange’s groundbreaking play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf, will open on Broadway this April. The show is directed and choreographed by Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown, making her directorial debut after serving as choreographer on the award-winning 2019 production of the play at The Public Theater. She is the first Black woman to serve as both director and choreographer on a Broadway production in more than 65 years.
The play opened on Broadway in 1976, and this production marks the show’s first revival. The show is a multi-disciplinary work about seven Black women who use poetry, dance, and music to share their stories and find strength in each other. The play is set to begin performances on Friday, April 1, 2022 at the Booth Theatre, with an opening date set for Wednesday, April 20, 2022.