Original ‘for colored girls’ cast reunites to celebrate the Broadway revival

A sweet return for the 1976 Broadway cast, including SDA Professor of Theatre Practice Michele Shay, in support of the new generation performing Ntozake Shange's play at the Booth Theatre.

For Colored Girls' original cast in the house with the revival cast standing on stage

Original cast (first row from left) — featuring Paula Moss, Trazana Beverley, Aku Kadogo, Janet League, Carol Maillard, Sharrata Hunt and Michele Shay. Current cast (second row, from left) includes Stacey Sargeant, Alexandria Wailes, Kenita R. Miller, Okwui Okpokwasili, Tendayi Kuumba, D. Woods and Amara Granderson. (Photo by Lia Chang)

When Project1VOICE’s Erich McMillan-McCall received news that two of the original for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf cast members were interested in attending the revival of Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem at the Booth Theatre, ideas of arranging a reunion quickly turned into a reality over a few weeks.

On April 14, 2022, members of the original 1976 Broadway cast, including USC School of Dramatic Arts Professor of Theatre Practice Michele Shay (understudy), Trazana Beverley (Lady in Red), Aku Kad (Lady in Yellow), Janet League (Lady in Brown), Paula Moss (Lady in Green) were reunited to celebrate the opening of the revival show 46 years after the play opened in the Booth Theatre. 

Original cast of 'For Colored Girls'
From left: Michele Shay, Janet League, Trazana Beverley, Aku Kadogo, Carol Maillard and Paula Moss in front of the Booth Theatre in New York on April 14. (Photo by Lia Chang)

for colored girls…, which was the second play by a Black woman to be produced on Broadway, first captivated audiences with its story of seven women who find solace and empowerment in sharing stories through dance, song and connection.

During the homecoming, the original cast connected with the new generation cast — including Amara Granderson (Lady in Orange), Tendayi Kuumba (Lady in Brown), Kenita R. Miller as (Lady in Red), Okwui Okpokwasili (Lady in Green), Stacey Sargeant (Lady in Blue), Alexandria Wailes (Lady in Purple) and D. Woods (Lady in Yellow).

'For Colored Girls' revival cast on stage, smiling at audience
From left: Okwui Okpokwasili, Kenita R. Miller, Alexandria Wailes, Tendayi Kuumba, D. Woods and Amara Granderson. (Photo by Lia Chang)

With refreshing new direction and choreography by Camille A. Brown and almost half a century between its original premiere, for colored girls… still shines as a pillar of hope within the Black theatre community, continuing to inspire joy within audiences. And, in the true spirit of the choreopoem, it has connected one generation of cast members with the next in celebration of Black Girl Magic.