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

News Billy Porter's While I Yet Live, with Lillias White and S. Epatha Merkerson, Opens Off-Broadway Tonight While I Yet Live, the semi-autobiographical world-premiere play from Kinky Boots Tony Award winner Billy Porter about a young man's coming of age in Pittsburgh, PA, officially opens Oct. 12 after previews that began Sept. 24 Off-Broadway.

Sharon Washington and S. Epatha Merkerson
Sharon Washington and S. Epatha Merkerson Photo by James Leynse

Primary Stages presents the new work that runs through Oct. 31. The Off-Broadway production is presented in association with Susan Dietz (Fela!, Mothers and Sons).

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.


Lillias White, S. Epatha Merkerson and the Cast of Billy Porter's While I Yet Live Meet the Press

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!