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Sidney, a Biographical Play About Legendary Actor Sidney Poitier, Is in the Works

Charles Randolph-Wright and Ruben Santiago-Hudson have been selected by the Poitier family to adapt the story for the stage.

The life of Sidney Poitier will be adapted for the stage by Charles Randolph-Wright and Ruben Santiago-Hudson.
(© Joseph Marzullo)

A new Broadway play about the legendary life and work of Sidney Poitier is in the works. Titled Sidney, the play will be written by Charles Randolph-Wright and directed by Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and is adapted from Poitier's best-selling autobiography The Measure of a Man. The story will follow Poitier's upbringing on Cat Island in the Bahamas and subsequent rise to stardom.

Poitier is best known for his film performances in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, and Lilies of the Field, for which he became the first African-American man to win the Oscar for Best Actor. He also directed several films, including the 1980 comedy Stir Crazy, and performed on Broadway in the original production of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun (Tony nomination).

Randolph-Wright's stage works include Blue and the upcoming world-premiere musical American Prophet: Frederick Douglass in His Own Words. He also directed Roundabout Theatre Company's current Broadway revival of Alice Childress's Trouble in Mind.

Santiago-Hudson was on Broadway earlier this season in his autobiographical solo show, Lackawanna Blues. He is best known for directing the of works by August Wilson, and he adapted Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom for the screen in the 2020 film version starring Viola Davis. Later this season, Santiago-Hudson will direct the Broadway premiere of Dominique Morisseau's Skeleton Crew.

The Poitier family selected both Randolph-Wright and Santiago-Hudson to write and direct Sidney. The play is produced by Ron Gillyard, filmmaker Anika Poitier (Poitier's daughter); and Barry Krost. The production timeline, as well as cast and creative team information, will be announced at a later date.