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Thursday, June 13, 2024

All African American artistic team produce THE COLOR PURPLE: the musical

Special to the Peacemaker / August 20, 2021

Thirty-seven plays and musicals were scheduled to open on Broadway during the 2019-20 season. Of course, many of those productions — 16, all told — either didn’t open or were shut down in rehearsals due to the coronavirus pandemic. Out of 37 shows, only four were written by artists of color. Only one was written by a female-identifying artist. Of those four, only two were directed by artists of color, both male identifying. These two productions are the only shows to feature a principal creative and/or design team that was predominantly of color. These statistics are the norm in theatres across the country including in North Carolina.

The Barn Dinner Theatre is an exception to this all-too-common practice in American theatres. The artistic team for The Barn Dinner Theatre’s production of THE COLOR PURPLE is comprised of all people of color, led by a woman of color.

THE COLOR PURPLE is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. This musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (and the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film) spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of this epic story. With a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life. With a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, THE COLOR PURPLE premiered at the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia and opened on Broadway on November 1, 2005. It was nominated for eleven 2006 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score. The London Off-West End production opened on Broadway in 2015, winning the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

The Barn Dinner Theatre production is running now through September 25 at The Barn Dinner Theatre; 120 Stage Coach Trail; Greensboro.
For more information, call (336) 292.221 or visit

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