The trailer for the latest installment of “The Hunger Games” franchise features a familiar face, 2013 Tony Award Winner, Patina Miller (Pippin).
Reprising her role from the previous film, Miller portrays ‘Commander Paylor’ in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2”. In the book, her character is a military leader who is a valuable part of the rebels cause. She rises to lead them and is seen in the film trailer giving a call to action before advancing on the enemy.
These films about a dystopian future and the revolution that takes place in the name of justice has been consistent in featuring characters from all backgrounds in various levels of status and authority. Furthermore, the theme of banding together to combat forces that are mistreating, dehumanizing, and oppressing the masses with their years-old power structures is something that is not at all reserved for fiction. Miller’s role in this story is one of great inspiration as more and more leaders are being called to stand up and speak out in anyway they can against the powers that be who are killing the innocent and obstructing freedom.
Patina Miller has thrilled audiences with her performances on stage in the West End and Broadway production of Sister Act as well as the Central Park production of Hair. Miller can also be seen in the CBS political drama, “Madame Secretary.”
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2” arrives in theaters November 20. See Patina Miller in the latest trailer below!
#TonysSoDiverse: 70th Annual Tony Awards The Most Diverse Yet
I can guarantee there won’t be a #TonysSoWhite hashtag anytime soon, not with the way the current Broadway season has gone. To quote the hit Hamilton “how lucky we are to be alive right now!”
The 2015-2016 has finally come to a close and what a celebration of diversity it has been. Look no further than the 2016 Tony Award nominations to drive that point home. In the acting category alone, out of 40 nominees 14 of them are actors of color (12 black actors and actresses), however, the representation doesn’t stop there. On the creative/directorial/playwriting end we have Daryl Waters nominated for Best Orchestrations (Shuffle Along), Paul Tazewell nominated for Costume Design (Hamilton), George C. Wolfe nominated for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Book of a Musical (Shuffle Along), Danai Gurira (Eclipsed) is the only woman playwright in her category , Liesl Tommy for Direction of a Play (Eclipsed) , Savion Glover for Best Choreography for Shuffle Along (which will be a crime if he doesn’t win), and Brian Stokes Mitchell is to receive the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award. Black actors make up about 30% of the nominations, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but compared to previous years, this is pretty historic. This is perhaps the largest population of Black artists and creatives to date since the Tony Awards inception in 1947.
It’s also worth noting that in the featured actor and actress in a musical category, three out of the five nominees in each respective category are black men and women, and we couldn’t be more excited.
While it’s true that Broadway has a long way to go, as Jordan Roth, President of Jujamcyn Theaters, told the New York Times, ”We still have a lot of work to do in terms of the diversity of our creative teams, and I’d like to see more diversity among our producing community.” I’d say Broadway has done a great job at highlighting and exploring diversity on and, sometimes, off the stage this season, but the real question is- Going forward, can we keep it this way?
I, for one, am super optimistic about the future, now that we’ve shown Broadway we are here, we have amazing stories that deserve to be told AND people will PAY to see them. Let’s give the people what they want. After all, they are the ones shelling out the money for the tickets. While the nominations are great, we all know the real pressure is on for who gets to take the prized award home. I’m hoping for a 2013-esq Tony Award night, (Billy Porter, Patina Miller, Cicely Tyson, and Courtney B. Vance all took home statues that season AND that was the night that gave us the Queen Audra mic drop gif, a gif that I use faithfully to this day). At the 2015 Tony’s we saw a bit of a drought with diversity, but 2016 brought the heat! The two shows leading the pack with most nominations (Hamilton and Shuffle Along), also happen to feature primarily people of color and put American history on display is such a diverse way.
I can’t wait for the day when we aren’t shocked that there are more than 14 actors of color nominated because it will have become the norm. As the great Queen of Television, Shonda Rhimes said, we’re tired of the word “diversity,” let this be the norm. Let’s normalize Broadway. The talent is there in abundance. The stories are there. Broadway just needs to give it a chance and catch up to the rest of the world. Here’s to a “normalized” season and holding on to the hope that it won’t be the last.
Hamilton Cast Performs Opening Number At Grammys
If you were ever in doubt as to whether Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton has taken over the pop culture consciousness, tune into the Grammys this Sunday. The smash Broadway musical will be featured during the show.
The cast is set to perform their opening number aptly titled “Alexander Hamilton.” It’s the rolling, riveting number that gives the premise of the show complete with harmonies, hip-hop crecendos and a decent bit of dancing.
If you did not know. Hamilton is a steamroller of a show outpacing many other musicals and starring a predomininatly Brown and Black cast. Deadline reported late last year that the show was ahead of the game in recouping their investment costs.
Oh did we also mention the Hamilton cast album broke on the Billboard Rap charts landing on Number 12.
The performance is expected to be shown live from the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York. Of course, love and admiration for this show is almost unparalleled. It is particularly a proud moment for people of color who are seeing Miranda continue to create moving musicals with minority cast and crew. We hope and pray he keeps blessing us with more gems, but until then watch the Grammys this Sunday and support.