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Trouble in Mind on Broadway
Trouble in Mind on Broadway

Trouble in Mind on Broadway

New York, NY
293 Reviews on Show-Score

About Trouble in Mind on Broadway

"A long-buried treasure" - Peter Marks, The Washington Post

LaChanze (The Color Purple) along with Michael Zegen (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Broadway legend Chuck Cooper (Chicago, Caroline, or Change, Finian’s Rainbow) lead the cast of the Broadway premiere of Alice Childress’ wry and moving look at racism, identity, and ego. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, Trouble in Mind follows an experienced Black stage actress through rehearsals of a major Broadway drama, who finds the courage to stand up against the show’s white creative team.

At the forefront of both the Civil Rights and feminist movements, the prescient Trouble in Mind opened to acclaim off-Broadway in 1955, and was announced to move to Broadway in 1957... in a production that never came to be. This production will mark the 66-year-old play’s official Broadway debut.

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See playwright Alice Childress's Broadway debut 64 years in the making. Get Trouble in Mind tickets on TodayTix.

Childress's Trouble in Mind play centers on Wiletta, an experienced Black stage actress who is cast in the lead of a major Broadway production. The show is a rural Southern melodrama written and directed by two white men. Wiletta is just happy to have the job, and she tries to bury her ego when rehearsals reveal the play’s painful stereotypes. Yet as opening grows closer, tensions rise as the cast struggles to do good work under the white gaze — and in a white-run theatrical world.

LaChanze, a founding member of Black Theatre United, returns to Broadway as Wiletta following her 2019 performance as the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol. She also starred in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical in 2018, which earned her a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.

The premiere of Trouble in Mind off Broadway ran in 1955 to instant acclaim, but Childress’s play failed to get its due in her lifetime after its Broadway transfer was canceled. Following a resurgence in regional revivals this past decade, Roundabout brings Childress’s prophetic work to Broadway.

Get tickets to Trouble in Mind on Broadway now.

What to Watch For

  • Trouble in Mind premiered off Broadway in 1955 at Stella Holt's Greenwich Mews Theatre, where it ran for 91 performances to critical acclaim.
  • The play’s canceled Broadway transfer would have marked the first play by an African American woman ever produced on Broadway. The transfer was canceled because producers asked Childress to tone down her treatment of racism, which she refused to do. The current Broadway production presents Trouble in Mind exactly as Childress wrote it.
  • Childress wrote over a dozen plays. However, she achieved the most commercial success as a novelist, such as with the young adult work A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But A Sandwich.
  • Trouble in Mind reopens Roundabout’s premiere Broadway space for plays the American Airlines Theatre, following its shuttering in March 2020.
  • Trouble in Mind has received regional revivals in recent years in New Jersey, Malibu, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Start date

October 29th, 2021

End date

January 9th, 2022


American Airlines Theatre


Alice Childress’s Trouble in Mind offers a wry and moving look at racism, identity, and ego in the world of New York theatre.

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