Camille A. Brown is 1st Black Woman in Decades to Direct and Choreograph Broadway Show

By: Alyssa Wilson

Camille A. Brown is making history as the first Black woman to both direct and choreograph a Broadway show in more than six decades.  

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According to Forbes, Brown will direct For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When The Rainbow is Enuf, debuting in 2022. Although she is no stranger to Broadway choreography, this will be her debut as a director.  

 

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The show was written by playwright and poet Ntozake Shange and opened on Broadway in 1976. In the production, seven Black women use choreography to share a survival story about what it’s like to live in a sexist and racist society, Forbes reported.  

“It’s an amazing feeling to bring this seminal show back to Broadway 45 years after it opened at the Booth Theatre on September 15, 1976,” Brown said. “I look forward to diving into the divine Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem and celebrating her legacy.”  

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Brown is no stranger to firsts. Her choreography for the production of Choir Boy earned her a Tony nomination in 2019, making her the first Black female choreographer to receive the honor in more than 20 years. Her work in the field has earned her numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Award, Bessie Award, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, Doris Duke Artist Award, United States Artists Award, Audelco Awards and Princess Grace Awards.  

Ron Simmons, a producer on the production, reflected on what working with Brown means to him. “It is an honor to help usher the return of Ntozake Shange’s groundbreaking work to Broadway under the direction and choreography of Camille A. Brown, who is herself blazing a new path on Broadway as the first Black woman in more than 65 years taking on this dual role,” he said. “I am quite confident that the ancestors and Ntozake’s spirits are lifted.”  

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If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here. 

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