Phenomenal Woman: Maya Angelou’s Legacy Will Be Adapted for the Stage

Maya Angelou speaks during the AARP Magazine’s 2011 Inspire Awards December 9, 2010 in Washington, DC.
Maya Angelou speaks during the AARP Magazine’s 2011 Inspire Awards December 9, 2010 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images

The miraculous life and words of Maya Angelou are being made into a one-woman show that producers hope to bring to Broadway, Deadline reports. Her only son, Guy Johnson, is working on the project, which is being led by Angelou’s former representative David Michael Rich and Hollywood and Broadway producer J. Todd Harris.


Maya Angelou—recipient of both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts—was (and remains) a force of nature. The poet and author’s, dynamic career, which spanned over six decades, will now be given new life on the stage.

The one-woman play, titled Phenomenal Woman: An Evening With Maya Angelou, will include not only aspects of her well-known written works but also “private musings” and never-heard-before stories, producers promise.“My mother lived an extraordinary life,” Johnson said in a statement, according to Deadline. “She brought a sense of passion to living and invested herself wholly in it. What she wanted most was justice for all human beings, and the freedom to experience joy and laughter. We hope to capture her joie de vivre. We’re going to include some private anecdotes that will be a revelation to audiences. I’m pleased to be working with this team in bringing her story to life and can’t wait for the public to experience it.”

This week marked what would have been Angelou’s 91st birthday. She died in 2014 at age 86.

Phenomenal Woman: An Evening With Maya Angelou is expected to premiere in 2021.

Correction: Sept. 22, 2019, 6:17 p.m. ET: This story has been edited to remove unattributed text and to clarify the project’s stage of development.



kudos, hopefully this will be a big success!  I wonder if Viola Davis will get to star? They should be recruiting black female actresses to perform the poems/scenes.