Scene from Broadway’s The Color Purple
Matthew Murphy

Broadway is affectionately known as "the Great White Way" for being one of the first streets in the United States to have electric lights. Given Broadway's history, one could be forgiven for thinking the nickname referred to race. However, there's an amazing color correction taking place, with a growing number of roles for people of color who are changing the landscape of Broadway.

Last year Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, told the New York Times, “This is probably going to be the most diverse season of the last 10 years, by a long shot. I have a feeling the impact of this season going forward will be strong.”

And she was right. With shows like Hamilton, The Color Purple, On Your Feet! and Fences, actors of color get to finally prove what we've all known: We're talented and can carry entire productions, too. Not only are we able to play leading roles with a diverse cast, but we're also able to play roles that were never written for us. Shout out to James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson, who starred in a revival of The Gin Game.

Advertisement

The Root caught up with busy Broadway star Marisha Wallace (Dreamgirls, Something Rotten) to find out more about why this is the most colorful time on Broadway. Check out the video below.