Chicago director Gary Griffin is currently developing the new musical version for the producing company Creative Battery. No official dates or venues have been announced for the work which is in the workshop stage.
Playwright-actress Regina Taylor is penning the new stagework based on the novel by Alice Walker. Taylor, whose Drowning Crow will play Broadway this season, has also written Crowns, Urban Zulu Mambo, Oo-Bla-Dee and The Ties That Bind. Also known as an actress, she has appeared in such plays as Machinal, A Map of the World and Jar the Floor,
Griffin, who is known for his unique restagings of classic plays and musicals, recently remounted his production of Pacific Overtures at London's Donmar Warehouse. Other works from the seven-time Jeff Award-winning director include Sunday in the Park with George, The Herbal Bed, Beautiful Thing (which transferred to New York's Cherry Lane Theatre) and The New Moon for Encores!
The music will combine the works of pop songwriters Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. Matthew Warchus (Life x 3, Follies) was previously attached as director to the project, which was aiming for a 2004 Broadway opening.
The tuner will be produced by Creative Battery, a new company founded by producer Scott Sanders. The team's first Broadway credit, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, garnered a Tony Award. The story of "The Color Purple" follows a teenager who gives birth to two of her father's children and then is married off to a man who sought her sister. The man convinces the sisters' father to separate the two and makes sure they never communicate by intercepting letters between them. Abused and alone, the heroine struggles to find her identity and love.