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It seems as though Broadway is taking a page out of televisions’s book and bringing more actors of color front and center–where they belong. The upcoming 2015-16 season has a plethora of roles for Black actors and actresses to get some shine on the Broadway stage. To help get you prepared for the season, Broadway Black has a line up of all the shows you will definitely need to see. Some original, some revivals, some plays, some musicals, some Broadway Black legends and some soon to be. Either way, these are shows you don’t want to miss.

Amazing Grace 

  • Theatre: Nederlander Theatre
  • First Preview: June 25, 2015
  • Opening: July 16, 2015
  • Written by Arthur Giron (Book), Arthur Giron and Christopher Smith (Music & Lyrics)
  • Director: Gabriel Barre
  • Cast: Josh Young, Erin Mackey, Chuck Cooper, Harriet D. Foy, Laiona Michelle, Rachael Ferrera
  • A new-original musical based on the awe-inspiring true story behind the world’s most beloved song. A tale of romance, rebellion and redemption that follows one man whose incredible journey ignited a historic wave of change.
  • Website: http://amazinggracemusical.com/

Hamilton  

  • Theatre: Richard Rodgers Theatre
  • First Preview: July 13, 2015
  • Opening: August 6, 2015
  • Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Book, Music & Lyrics)
  • Director: Thomas Kail
  • Cast: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Christopher Jackson, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo
  • Originally premiered Off-Broadway at The Public Theatre, Hamilton makes its move to the Great White Way. From bastard orphan to Washington’s right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, Hamilton is an exploration of a political mastermind.
  • Website: http://www.hamiltonbroadway.com/

The Gin Game 

  • Theatre: Golden Theatre
  • First Preview: Sept. 21, 2015
  • Opening: Oct. 13, 2015
  • Written by D.L. Coburn
  • Director: Leonard Foglia
  • Cast: James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson
  • An elderly couple at a nursing home play an increasingly tense series of gin rummy games as they expose truths about their failures, disappointments and insecurities.

The Color Purple

  • Theatre: Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre
  • First Preview: November 9, 2015
  • Opening: December 10, 2015
  • Written by Marsha Norman (Book), Brenda Russell, Allee Willis & Stephen Bray (Music & Lyrics), Alice Walker (Novel)
  • Director: John Doyle
  • Cast: Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson, Danielle Brooks
  • Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple follows the inspirational Celie as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life. Tickets go on sale June 30.
  • Website: http://colorpurple.com/

Shuffle Along 

  • Theatre: Music Box Theatre
  • First Preview: March 14, 2016
  • Opening: April 21, 2016
  • Written by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle (Music), George C. Wolfe (Book)
  • Director: George C. Wolfe, Savion Glover (Choreography)
  • Cast: Audra McDonald, 
  • A backstage musical about the events that led to the creation of the groundbreaking Eubie Blake-Noble Sissle 1921 musical Shuffle Along that starred Josephine Baker and Paul Robeson

Children of a Lesser God

  • Theatre: TBA
  • Target Opening: 2015-16 Season
  • Written by Mark Medoff
  • Director: Kenny Leon
  • Cast: TBA
  • The story of James Leeds, a new teacher at a school for the deaf, and Sarah Norman, the school’s one-time star student who has stayed behind as its cleaning woman rather than venturing out into the hearing world. James immediately takes a keen interest in Sarah, and tries to persuade her to communicate orally by lip reading. They soon embark on an emotional journey that will teach them both new ways of communicating and loving and, in the process, they build a romance beyond words.

With such an awesome and diverse lineup–both on stage and behind the scenes– our hope is that these shows can and will be seen by as many people as possible, to show the theatre world what else there is to offer. More diverse storytelling leads to a more diverse audience, which keeps the theatre alive. So do me and everyone else here at Broadway Black a huge favor; if you can get your hands on these tickets GO and while you’re at it, tell a friend or two.

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