Theater News

Alice Childress's 1955 Play Trouble in Mind to Receive Broadway Debut

The groundbreaking playwright died in 1994.

Alice Childress
Alice Childress
(image provided by Roundabout Theatre Company)

Groundbreaking playwright Alice Childress will receive her long-overdue Broadway debut in late 2021, with the Roundabout Theater Company production of Trouble in Mind, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright at the American Airlines Theatre.

An exploration of racism in the theater industry, the 1955 play follows Broadway rehearsals for an anti-lynching drama and the Black actress who stands up against the show's white creative team. Childress, who also directed the original production, is widely said to have won an Obie for Trouble in Mind — the first Black artist to do so — but Obie records have never been able to confirm that fact. The play was expected to receive its Broadway premiere in the late 1950s, but the production never materialized. Dates are still to be announced.

Roundabout will push Caroline, or Change by Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner to the spring of 2021 at Studio 54, with star Sharon D. Clarke returning alongside director Michael Longhurst. Jiréh Breon Holder's …what the end will be, directed by Margot Bordelon, will be presented during that time at the Laura Pels Theater, with Dave Harris's Exception to the Rule in the Black Box, directed by Miranda Haymon. The company will continue to present Diane Paulus's production of 1776 in the spring of 2021 at the American Airlines Theatre, with Noah Haidle's Birthday Candles, starring Debra Messing and directed by Vivienne Benesch, moving to the fall.