Recently I have noticed a very pleasing tread while perusing entertainment pages for this blog, it seems that now is a very good time for a POC to be in theater.
Exhibit A: Hamilton, the hip-hop version of the founding of our country. It’s the hottest ticket on Broadway. The critics are drooling over it in way that is almost embarrassing and the creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has a MacArthur Genius award gracing his mantle and his bank account.
Exhibit B: The Color Purple starring Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Ervio will open soon on Broadway. This is bound to be yet another flaming hot ticket. I’m including Jennifer and Cynthia singing the title song here because I love you all and I want you to have nice things.
Exhitbit C: Eclipsed, written by The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira and starring Lupita Nyong’o will take it’s bow on Broadway in the spring.
Exhibit D: Allegiance, best known for being George Takei’s passion project about his life in a Japanese Interment camp, is currently running to packed houses and great reviews. The cast is almost entirely Asian-American.
Exhibit E: David Oyelowo will portray Othello opposite Daniel Craig’s Iago. We’ve come a long way from Orson Welles in blackface.
And last but certainly not least we have….
Exhibit F: Gugu Mbatha-Raw on the London stage as Nell Gwynn, one of the first female actors on stage (female roles had been portrayed by boys prior to this) and lover to King Charles II.
I am not saying life is perfect for theater actors of color by any means, but I am excited to see so many opportunities opening up. It does feel like true progress is being made.