Director Lee Daniels, who is about to make his first venture into Broadway, joined actress-producer Erika Alexander and theater notables for the first reception celebrating The Theatre Leadership Project. The non-profit organization works to increase the numbers of BIPOC creative producers, general managers and company managers on Broadway. The evening was held at Black-owned restaurant Brooklyn Chop House in Manhattan's Times Square.
Best known for producing such distinguished award-winning films as Monster's Ball, Precious, The Butler and The United States vs. Billie Holiday, along with the TV series Empire and Star, Daniels is now shining his spotlight on the stage. He is producing Ain’t No Mo’, a new work from playwright Jordan E. Cooper. The sure-to-be-thought-provoking production dares to ask the incendiary question, “What if the U.S. government offered Black Americans one-way plane tickets to Africa?” The comedy received critical acclaim during its Off-Broadway run at New York’s Public Theater in 2019. It opens at the Belasco Theatre on November 9.
The show’s cast includes Cooper and Fedna Jacquet, Marchánt Davis, Shannon Matesky, Ebony Marshall-Oliver and Crystal Lucas-Perry, who play passengers one through five.
The Theatre Leadership Project, founded by Barbara Broccoli, Lia Vollack, Alecia Parker, Patrick Daly and Travis LeMont Ballenger, administers three-year fellowships in general management, company management and creative producing to equip BIPOC arts leaders with the practical skills, knowledge and professional networks they need to succeed in the commercial management sector of theater. The program helps to eliminate barriers to participation by providing sustained funding and support over three years and works towards permanent job placement of its fellows. The nonprofit will soon add a stage management program to further representation in the Broadway sector.
Tickets to Ain't No Mo' are available at www.aintnomobway.com.