UPON THESE SHOULDERS is a celebration of what Black artists have created over the past 150 years. The event will highlight the history of Black artists’ creativity, magnify the work of today’s Black artists, and most importantly, shed a light on the future of Broadway, the American Theatre, and those who are going to lead the way.
The evening will include performances, interviews, and messages from TONY Award-winning Broadway stars, musicians, performers, and arts allies that will provide a soul-stirring look at the work of Black professionals in the American Theatre. Viewers will see firsthand why the Black Theatre Coalition is so necessary as we all focus on moving the needle towards equity.
Flip through the official digital Playbill for Upon These Shoulders:
This digital program was created using PLAYBILLder, Playbill's custom, Broadway-quality program creation tool. Get started building your real—or fantasy—Playbill program today at PLAYBILLder.com.
Proceeds from Upon These Shoulders will go directly to BTC’s Fellowship Initiative which will launch in Fall, 2021. Forty-two paid fellowships will be awarded in various categories of Management, Design, Creative, Casting, PR and Marketing & Advertising. As an example, when Broadway closed on March 12, 2020, there were zero Black General Managers. When the curtains once again rise later this year, there will be six working in various offices on Broadway, creating an increase by 600%.
BTC's mission is to remove the ILLUSION OF INCLUSION in the American Theatre by building an ethical and sustainable roadmap that will increase employment opportunities for Black Theatre Professionals.
Scheduled to be part of the event include (in alphabetical order)*: Ahmad Simmons, Aisha Jackson, Amber Iman, Anastacia McCleskey, André De Shields, Ari Groover, Bebe Winans, Brandon A. McCall, Brandon Victor Dixon, Brittney Johnson, Bryonha Parham, Camille A. Brown, Carly Hughes, Charles Randolph-Wright, Christina Sajous, Daniel J. Watts, DJ Duggz, George Faison, Harry Lennix, Khaila Wilcoxon, Kimberly Marable, L. Steven Taylor, Lilli Cooper, Malcolm Armwood, Marisha Wallace, Mason Reeves, Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Mayor of Chicago), Mayor Muriel Bowser (Mayor of D.C.), Marlies Yearby, Merle Dandridge, Michael R. Jackson, Nathan Lee Graham, Nick Rashad Burroughs, Norm Lewis, Nteliseng Nkhela, Olivia Donaldson, Paul Tazewell, Phillip Boykin, Raja Feather Kelly, Savion Glover, Shereen Pimentel, Stephanie Umoh, Tamika Lawrence, TyNia Brandon, Tituss Burgess, Tracee Beazer Barrett, Tramaine Gray, Valisia LeKae, Whoopi Goldberg, and Wynton Marsalis. (*Performers are subject to change.)
The evening, produced in association with Jacquelyn Bell, will be directed by T. Oliver Reid and Warren Adams with script by Jess Carson, music direction from Michael O. Mitchell. Daniel P. Calderon and #WorkFromHome provide additional video filming and production, with sound mixing and editing from GSI Studios.
The Black Theatre Coalition Team includes Reggie Van Lee, T. Oliver Reid, Warren Adams, Aaliytha Stevens, Afton Battle, Tamica Clanton and Anthony McDonald.
Upon These Shoulders is made possible thanks to title sponsor Cadillac and additional sponsorships by GEICO, City National Bank, American Express and AARP. To purchase your tickets to Upon These Shoulders, please go to: HERE.
A special American Express® Exclusive Package – which includes a ticket to the virtual concert and a pre-filmed virtual concert post-show event starting at 8:00pm(ET) with Tony Award Nominees Norm Lewis and Brandon Victor Dixon – is available exclusively for American Express Card Members. CLICK HERE
To make a donation to Black Theatre Coalition, please go to: HERE.