Broadway is back—and Blacker than ever, it seems.
According to Time Out, the Great White Way will see the production of at least seven plays written by Black playwrights throughout the 2021 season. Broadway shows have opened or have plans on reopening via a staggered schedule due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Of all seven Black playwrights, four are women and two of them will be making their debut on the big stage. Ranging from all-new works to critically-acclaimed revivals, the shows will be presented by all four of Broadway’s major nonprofits: the Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, the Roundabout and Lincoln Center.
The plays coming down the pipeline include: Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s Pass Over; Lackawanna Blues, written, directed and performed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson; Douglas Lyon’s Chicken and Biscuits; Keenan Scott II’s Thoughts of a Colored Man; Alice Childress’ Trouble in Mind directed by Charles Randolph-Wright; Lynn Nottage’s Clyde; and Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew, starring Phylicia Rashad and Ruben Santiago-Hudson.
Pass Over tells the tale of two young Black men as they hang out on a street corner and dream of a promised land, while Lackawanna Blues showcases Santiago-Hudson’s many talents as he “pays fond tribute to the formidable woman who raised him in upstate New York in the 1960s.”
You’ll need some Chicken & Biscuits to wash down the drama in Lyon’s play as “skeletons come tumbling out of the casket at the funeral of the patriarch of a squabbling African-American family.” Meanwhile, Scott II sheds light on the innermost expressions and thoughts of seven Black men with a stellar cast, including but not limited to: Keith David, Bryan Terrell Clark, Da’Vinchi, Luke James, Forrest McClendon, Tristan “Mack” Wilds and Dyllón Burnside.
“Just grateful. Thank you @keenanthemuse & @broadnaxsteve,” Luke James captioned in a social media post once the news of his casting was announced.
Randolph-Wright helps bring Childress’ Trouble in Mind alive, which follows “a Black actress who challenges stereotypes while rehearsing a liberal-minded anti-lynching play.” Over at Clyde’s, Nottage is serving up a story about “a truck-stop sandwich stop staffed by ex-cons trying to get their lives together—and create the perfect snack.” But if you needed something else to chew on, sink your teeth into Morisseau’s “meaty drama” Skeleton Crew, which chronicles “four workers at a dying auto-parts plant who are torn between strategies of survival: the every-man-for-himself ethos of American individualism versus the solidarity of unions, friends and chosen families.”
Tickets for Clyde’s and Trouble in Mind are not on sale yet, but you can purchase tickets for Thoughts of a Colored Man, Chicken & Biscuits and Pass Over now. You can also grab seats for Lackawanna Blues and Skeleton Crew on August 10 and September 9, respectively.