Billy Porter's While I Yet Live, with Lillias White and S. Epatha Merkerson, Premieres Off-Broadway

News   Billy Porter's While I Yet Live, with Lillias White and S. Epatha Merkerson, Premieres Off-Broadway
 
While I Yet Live, the semi-autobiographical play from Kinky Boots Tony Award winner Billy Porter about a young man's coming of age in Pittsburgh, PA, begins its world-premiere engagement Sept. 24 Off-Broadway.

Billy Porter
Billy Porter Photo by Monica Simoes

Primary Stages presents the new work that will officially open Oct. 12 at the Duke on 42nd Street. The run is currently scheduled through Oct. 31. The Off-Broadway production is presented in association with Susan Dietz (Fela!, Mothers and Sons).

The play was originally scheduled to begin Sept, 23, but delayed the start of performance by one day due to technical rehearsals.

Porter earned the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in Kinky Boots. His Broadway appearances also include Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Grease, Smokey Joe's Café and Dreamgirls.

"This play is a love letter to my mother, my sister, and the women who raised me," Porter said in a statement. "Reflecting on my own life experience as a gay, black, Christian man, and survivor of abuse, I wanted to write a play that was about family, faith and the healing power of forgiveness, three things very necessary to move forward and make change in your life. Change is possible, but it takes patience."

Tony Award nominee Sheryl Kaller (Mothers and Sons, Next Fall, Adrift in Macao) directs the premiere of Pittsburgh native Porter's play that stars Tony Award winner Lillias White (The Life, Fela!), Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson (Come Back, Little Sheba; "Law & Order"), Elain Graham (The Picture Box, "Smash"), Sheria Irving (Romeo & Juliet, Ethel Sings), Kevyn Morrow (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dreamgirls), Sharon Washington (The Scottsboro Boys, Wild With Happy) and Larry Powell (Broke-ology, Dutchman). The production has scenic design by James Noone, costume design by ESosa, lighting design by Kevin Adams, sound design by Leon Rothenberg and casting by Stephanie Klapper Casting.

Visit primarystages.org.

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