Broadway play about Sidney Poitier in the works with screenplay by Charles Randolph-Wright
A new play about the life of Oscar winner and Tony nominee Sidney Poitier is in the works. Charles Randolph-Wright writes sydneybased on Poitiers’ best-selling autobiography The measure of a man, with Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson attached to direct.
The cast, additional members of the creative team, and a production schedule will be announced at a later date.
Randolph-Wright and Santiago-Hudson were selected by the Poitiers family to create the piece. The producers of the project are Ron Gillyard; Poitier’s daughter, filmmaker Anika Poitier; and Barry Krost.
sydney dramatizes Mr. Poitier’s life, from his upbringing on Cat Island in the Bahamas to his rise to become one of America’s most revered entertainers, known for his work in films like field lily, Guess who’s coming to dinner?and The defiant. In addition to his work on stage and screen, the star was a vocal activist who broke down racist barriers within the entertainment industry and beyond.
“The first time I met Sidney Poitier was decades ago when he saw a show I co-wrote and directed in Los Angeles,” Randolph-Wright said. “We went to dinner and I literally couldn’t talk. He said to me, “If I’ve inspired you in any way, you’ve more than rewarded me with what I’ve seen tonight. I kept those words all my career. And now, putting his amazing life on stage is the ultimate challenge and the ultimate joy.
Poitier made his Broadway debut in 1946 as Probulos in a production of Lysistrate. In 1960, he played Walter Lee Younger in A raisin in the sun, scoring a Tony nomination. The role would prove to be his final performance on the main stem before turning to film and television; he returned to direct a production of Take me back to Morningside Heights in 1968.