Titled Sidney and written by wright Charles Randolph-Wright and Tony Award-winning actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the play will chronicle Poitier’s early life in the Bahamas to his meteoric rise as a leading man in Hollywood, eventually becoming the first Black man to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964.
According to producers, the show “explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, pride and humility and the price for artistic integrity.”
“Poitier has inspired many artists in multiple fields including encouraging Alice Childress to begin writing when they were both members at America Negro Theatre,” they continued.
“The first time I met Sidney Poitier was decades ago when he saw a show I co-wrote and directed in Los Angeles,” said Randolph-Wright. “ We went to dinner and I literally could not speak. He said to me, ‘If in any way I have inspired you, you have more than paid me back with what I saw this evening.’ I have held onto those words my entire career. And now to place his astonishing life on stage is the ultimate challenge and the ultimate joy. To have the trust of Mr. Poitier and his family is one of the greatest gifts I have been given—what an honor to get to dramatize the true measure of this monumental man. I look forward to the world discovering the astounding person that is behind one of our most prodigious heroes, a man who continues to inspire.”
Santiago-Hudson added, “Sir Sidney Poitier is clearly one of the greatest actors in the history of cinema. His integrity and standard of excellence set the bar for generations to come. It is an honor to be a part of celebrating the incomparable Sidney Poitier’s monumental career in this play but also the man and his extraordinary life.”
Throughout his remarkable career, Poitier is regarded as one of the most revered actors of all time. As an actor/activist, he broke barriers during the 1950s and ’60s by starring in classic films such as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, and Lillies of the Field.
Alongside Ron Gillyard and Barry Krost, Poitier’s daughter Anika will also serve as a producer.
At a later date, the cast and creative team will be announced.