Whether Downtown or on Broadway, Slave Play Writer Jeremy O. Harris Is Excited to Be ‘Making Plays for My Friends’

Opening Night   Whether Downtown or on Broadway, Slave Play Writer Jeremy O. Harris Is Excited to Be ‘Making Plays for My Friends’
 
The new play, helmed by Robert O'Hara, officially opened on Broadway October 6.
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Jeremy O. Harris Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The Broadway premiere of Jeremy O. Harris' Slave Play, which explores the complexities of race, history, gender, and sexuality in America, officially opened at the John Golden Theatre October 6.

The play has been generating buzz since its Off-Broadway bow last season, however, O. Harris tries to put the headlines out of his mind. “What’s interesting is that the buzz has been more celeb-centric, but people don’t know that I have relationships with people like Rihanna and Zendaya,” he told Playbill.

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Robert O'Hara and Jeremy O. Harris Joseph Marzullo/WENN

“Rihanna and I were texting for days before she came to my play, so it was just like a really exciting moment when your friend promises you they’ll do something, then they actually decide to come.” (The Grammy winner's visit to the show sparked another conversation between theatregoers and artists—over phone usage during shows.)

"My plans were always about going to a small theatre downtown and making plays for my friends,” he continued. “What’s really great is that I’ve now seen you can do it uptown too. The reaction here has been so much more positive, I feel like [the play] has really found its voice on Broadway.”

Directed by Robert O'Hara, Slave Play features Joaquina Kalukango, Ato Blankson-Wood, James Cusati-Moyer, Sullivan Jones, Chalia La Tour, Irene Sofia Lucio, Annie McNamara, and Paul Alexander Nolan.

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Irene Sofia Lucio and Chalia La Tour Joseph Marzullo/WENN

La Tour, who is making her Broadway debut as Teá in Slave Play, said she never expected the show to transfer uptown.

"I don’t know if I ever thought it was possible to do a Broadway debut with a work that I so much believe in, with folks I love so much," she said. "Jeremy brought our voices into these rooms and into these roles, it’s insanely fulfilling."

Fellow stars of the stage and screen walked the red carpet in support of the show, including Tom Hiddleston (currently starring in a revival of Betrayal next door), Rachel Brosnahan, Andre De Shields, Lilli Cooper, George Takei, and Tonya Pinkins.

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