Buffalo, NY, June 7, 2023 – Ujima Company, Second Generation Theatre, and Shea’s 710 Theatre are pleased to announce the full cast for The Color Purple which will open on September 14, 2023.
The cast is led by Gabriella McKinley as Celie, Anika Pace as Nettie, George Brown as Mister, Brian Brown as Harpo, Curtis Lovell as Sophia, and Jetaun Louie as Shug. The cast also includes Tuhran Gethers, Gerald Ramsey, Nathania Sampaio, Latosha Jennings, Danielle Green, Tammy Wilder, Marchon Hamilton II, Brittney Burgess, Austin Marshal, Jake Hayes, Derrian Brown, and Brandon Williamson.
Director Sarah Norat Phillips said, “I’m thrilled and honored to welcome an extraordinary and vibrant group of actors to bringing The Color Purple to life here in Buffalo. It is an honor and a privilege to tell this story and collaborate with these three outstanding theatre companies.”
The Color Purple marks the first collaboration between Second Generation Theatre, Ujima Theatre Company, and Shea's 710 Theatre. Each company's professionals bring a variety of skills, qualifications, culture, and values that come together as one. This diverse team is aligned in the mission to create an inclusive and collaborative experience while telling this important story to our existing and new audiences.
"We are proud to collaborate with these exceptional theaters, fostering a spirit of collaboration by upholding principles of equity and inclusion. This will be an outstanding production that will captivate our audience. Walker's text continues to serve as a wellspring of enlightenment, reminding us of the importance of treating one another with kindness and embracing our own self-worth," stated Robert H. Brunschmid, Vice President of Operations at Shea's Performing Arts Center.
Kristin Bentley, Executive Director of Second Generation Theatre, shared her excitement, "We're thrilled to team up with Shea's 710 Theatre and Ujima Theatre Company for The Color Purple. Our joint effort is dedicated to sharing this profound tale in a setting that celebrates diversity and mutual respect, welcoming audiences, both longstanding and new, to experience Alice Walker's remarkable narrative."
The Color Purple is being presented locally by SaveOnSP with support from Cullen Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Arts & Culture Initiative administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and sponsored by Wegmans and Bank of America.
“SaveOnSP is honored to be sponsoring these three theatre groups and providing the opportunity for our employees and the broader community to enjoy the presentation of a powerful story. We believe this three-way collaboration will elevate important art in our community and enrich the lives of our employees and others,” said Jody Miller, SaveOnSP President.
"Bank of America is dedicated to supporting Western New York's vibrant cultural institutions” said Ted Janicki, president, Bank of America Buffalo. “We believe in the power of the arts to build community, showcase diverse perspectives, and expand our horizons through storytelling. We look forward to seeing The Color Purple's impact on new and veteran theatergoers alike."
Michele Mehaffy, Wegmans Public & Community Relations Manager, Buffalo Division shared, “A remarkable journey from despair to redemption and hope. Wegmans is proud to partner with Ujima Company, Second Generation Theatre and Shea’s 710 to bring this incredible work to Buffalo audiences.”
The Color Purple is part of the 2023-24 Frey Electric Season. Frey Electric is a proud supporter of local theatres and arts in the Western New York community.
Ujima Company, Inc, Second Generation Theatre, and Shea's 710 Theatre, in addition to their collaborative efforts, have organized a special free movie night showcasing The Color Purple (1985 Film). The event will take place on Wednesday, June 14 at 7:00pm at Ujima Theatre - located at 429 Plymouth Ave, Buffalo NY 14213. While admission is free, registration is required.
About The Color Purple
The Color Purple is a musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of this epic story. With a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues, The Color Purple is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love, and a celebration of life.
For more information on the production, please visit www.sheas.org/performances/the-color-purple/.
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