The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced the complete cast and creative team for Show Way The Musical, a commissioned world premiere musical for young adults based on the Newberry–winning book from Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Jacqueline Woodson. The work will run May 13-29 in the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater. The show features music by Tyrone L. Robinson, direction by Schele Williams, and choreography by Tiffany Quinn.
Show Way The Musical pays tribute to women whose strength and knowledge illuminate their daughters’ lives—from enslavement to freedom, through segregation, freedom marches, and the fight for literacy—through the creation of a Show Way quilt, a piece of physical craftsmanship that was used by enslaved people to show the way to freedom through secret stitches.
“When my mom sent me to sewing school as a child, I didn’t understand why because she had not learned to sew, though she wanted to make sure that my sister and I did," shares Woodson. "Once I learned the history of our family, I began to understand. I’m honored that the voices of the generations that came before me and their stories of quilting and resistance are finally coming to the Kennedy Center stage showing all of us the way.”
The production will star Danielle Lee Greaves as The Griot, Emmanuel Eliot Key as Brother, Theresa Cunningham as Elder Mother, Angela Birchett as Mama, and Danyel Fulton as Auntie, with understudies Catrina Brenae and Brittani McNeill rounding out the company.
The work also features music direction by Tiffany Underwood Holmes, orchestrations by Wilkie Ferguson, electronic music design by Taylor Williams, scenic design by Tony Cisek, costume design by Jeannette Christensen, lighting design by Kyle Grant, projection design by Jeremy Bennett, sound design by Cresent Haynes, prop design by Chelsea Dean, and casting by X Casting's Victor Vazquez. John Keith Hall is production stage manager.
Following the May 15 performance, audience members are welcome to stay for talkback with the productions artists. In addition, the May 21 performance will be sensory-friendly, designed to create an experience that is welcoming to all families, including those including children with autism or other sensory sensitivities.
For more information, visit Kennedy-Center.org.