Nova Y. Payton will lead the cast of Signature Theatre's The Color Purple. Performances are set to run August 16–October 9 at Signature’s MAX Theatre in Arlington, Virginia.
Timothy Douglas, who previously helmed Signature’s Spunk and the Portland Center Stage production of The Color Purple, will direct.
Payton is slated to portray Celie with Danielle J. Summons as Shug Avery, Frenchie Davis as Sofia, Kaiyla Gross as Nettie, Stephawn P. Stephens as Ol’ Mister/Preacher, Solomon Parker III as Harpo, Tẹmídayọ Amay as Squeak, and Torrey Linder as Mister, with ensemble members Ian Anthony Coleman, Jalisa Williams, Keenan McCarter, Nia Savoy-Dock, Raquel Jennings, Sean-Maurice Lynch, Tobias A. Young, and Yewande Odetoyinbo. Swings include Catrina Brenae, Gabrielle Rice, and Jay Frisby are swings.
Based on the novel by Alice Walker and the Steven Spielberg-directed movie of the same name, The Color Purple features a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray.
The production will also have scenic design by Tony Cisek, costume design by Kara Harmon, lighting design by Peter Maradudin, sound design by Ryan Hickey, and hair, wig, and make-up design by J. Jared Janas.
"As anyone who has read Alice Walker’s book can attest, the experience of Celie—in conversation with her God—radiates the vibratory effect of music that stirs in the reader’s soul with each and every one of her prayers," said director Douglas. "With this presentation of the musical stage play, the inspired music is real, and will stir all the senses! The spirit, essence and appearance of this Signature theatrical communion is The Color Purple."
Chelsea Pace and Greg Geffrard are co-intimacy choreographers with fight choreography by Casey Kaleba. Casting is by JZ Casting, Kelly Crandall D’Amboise, and Jorge Acevedo. Kerry Epstein is the production stage manager, Taryn Friend is the assistant stage manager, Kelsey Jenkins is the production assistant, Ezinne Elele is the assistant director, Angie Benson is the associate music director, Channing Tucker is the assistant costume designer, Tony Lauro is the associate hair, wig, and make-up designer, and Alexander Greenberg is the keyboard programmer.
The musical premiered on Broadway in 2005 and was revived a decade later. The revival received Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for Cynthia Erivo’s performance as Celie, as well as nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical and Best Direction. The Color Purple also won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
Warner Bros.' feature film adaptation of the The Color Purple musical is slated to hit theatres December 20, 2023.