In the News: Danai Gurira Will Star in The Fighting Shirley Chisholm Film, More Speakers Join Christopher Jackson at TheaterMakers Summit | Playbill

Film & TV News In the News: Danai Gurira Will Star in The Fighting Shirley Chisholm Film, More Speakers Join Christopher Jackson at TheaterMakers Summit
Plus: Stars from the world of opera are joining forces for a Thanksgiving variety show.
Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira DFree/

Read on for some recent theatre headlines you may have missed in today's news.

Danai Gurira Will Star in The Fighting Shirley Chisholm Film
Actor and playwright Danai Gurira, a Best Play Tony nominee for Eclipsed, will star in the title role of The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, according to Deadline. Tony winner Viola Davis had originally been attached to the feature film that chronicles Chisholm’s historic 1972 run for President of the United States. Adam Countee (Silicon Valley) penned the screenplay, with Cherien Dabis (Ramy, Ozark) to direct. Maggie Betts was initially slated to direct for Amazon in 2018. Stephanie Allain will produce for her Homegrown Pictures; Gabrielle Ebron executive produces.

More Speakers Join Christopher Jackson for TheaterMakers Summit
Additional guests have been revealed for the fourth annual TheaterMakers Summit, set to take place virtually November 14 and 15. Sierra Boggess and James Monroe Iglehart will host the weekend event of panels and discussions, presented by producer Ken Davenport. In addition to the previously reported keynote speaker Christopher Jackson and Alan Menken, Jessie Mueller, Ben Brantley, Paul Tazewell, Justin Guarini, Dori Berinstein, Charlotte St. Martin, Michael Arden, Sonya Tayeh, Brian Moreland, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Thomas Schumacher, and Tom Kitt, the roster includes recent Pulitzer winner Michael R. Jackson, Javier Muñoz, Jessie Nelson, David Henry Hwang, Lynn Ahrens, and Natasha Katz. Among those tapped as moderators are Playbill Social Media Director Felicia Fitzpatrick, Drew Gasparini, Susan Blackwell, and Blake Ross. For tickets and the complete schedule (including a “Bonus Day” November 16), visit

Virtual Nightclub New York Launches With Elizabeth Stanley, Kenita Miller, Ali Ewoldt, More
Scott Siegel will launch Nightclub New York—a virtual, on-demand nightclub—November 16 at 7 PM ET. The initial list of talent includes Farah Alvin, Nancy Anderson, Christina Bianco, John Bolton, Carole J. Bufford, Scott Coulter, Veanne Cox, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Bill Daugherty, Natalie Douglas, Kevin Earley, Claybourne Elder, Ali Ewoldt, Allan Harris, Jon Fletcher, Danny Gardner, Lisa Howard, Christine Lavin, Karen Mason, William Michals, Kenita Miller, Julia Murney, Jack Noseworthy, Brad Oscar, Julie Reyburn, Laila Robins, Kyle Scatliffe, Ryan Silverman, Elizabeth Stanley, Bob Stillman, Gabrielle Stravelli, and Walter Willison, plus performances by the late Ray Jessel and Baby Jane Dexter. Expect archival footage from shows when Feinstein’s was located at The Regency to concerts at the Laurie Beechman Theatre and more. All artists will be paid. For subscription information, click here.

Opera Stars to Throw Thanksgiving Variety Show
Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe will grab her signature blue ukulele and host Plenty to Be Thankful For, a Thanksgiving variety show, November 20 at 7 PM ET. The evening will also feature countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and soprano Karen Slack, as well as the world premiere of a song from composer William Bolcom featuring lyrics by Blythe herself. Audiences have the chance to be a part of the virtual event by submitting a brief video of themselves singing along to "It Had to Be You." For tickets and more information on participating, click here.

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