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Audra McDonald to Return to Broadway in Adrienne Kennedy's Ohio State Murders

Kennedy, a member of the Theater Hall of Fame, will make her Broadway debut at 91 with this production.

Audra McDonald
(© David Gordon)

Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald will return to Broadway this season in Adrienne Kennedy's Ohio State Murders, the inaugural production at the newly renamed and renovated James Earl Jones Theatre (formerly the Cort Theatre). Directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon, the production will also mark Kennedy's long-awaited Broadway debut at the age of 91. Previews are set to begin November 11 ahead of a December 8 opening.

The play is described as follows: "When writer Suzanne Alexander (McDonald) returns to her alma mater as a guest speaker, in which she explores the violence in her works, a dark mystery unravels. Adrienne Kennedy's Ohio State Murders is an intriguing and unusual suspense play, as well as a socially pertinent look at the destructiveness of racism in our society." The play was first staged in 1992 at the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, and had its New York premiere at the Duke on 42nd Street in 2007, starring LisaGay Hamilton.

Kennedy is an Obie Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, and a member of the Theater Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, she was also awarded the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy of Arts and Letters. Kennedy's best-known plays include Funnyhouse of a Negro (Obie Award), June and Jean in Concert (Obie Award), and Sleep Deprivation Chamber (Obie Award), which she co-authored with her son Adam Kennedy.

"I am so thrilled. It's only taken me 65 years to make it to Broadway!" said Kennedy in a statement. McDonald added, "I'm honored and humbled to be part of Adrienne Kennedy's long-overdue Broadway debut in the newly dedicated James Earl Jones Theatre with Kenny Leon. This timeless play has a powerful resonance and relevance today, and we can't wait to share it with the world."

Full casting, creative team, and ticketing information will be announced at a later date.

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