Nova Y. Payton stars as Celie in the Signature Theatre's production of The Color Purple, which began performances August 16 and continues through October 9 at Signature’s MAX Theatre in Arlington, Virginia. Watch Payton perform a portion of the musical's show-stopping "I'm Here" in the video above.
Timothy Douglas, who previously helmed Signature’s Spunk and the Portland Center Stage production of The Color Purple, directs a cast that also features Danielle J. Summons as Shug Avery, Frenchie Davis as Sofia, Kaiyla Gross as Nettie, Stephawn P. Stephens as Ol’ Mister/Preacher, Solomon Parker III as Harpo, Tẹmídayọ Amay as Squeak, and Torrey Linder as Mister.
The ensemble includes Ian Anthony Coleman, Jalisa Williams, Keenan McCarter, Nia Savoy-Dock, Raquel Jennings, Sean-Maurice Lynch, Gabrielle Rice, and Tobias A. Young. Catrina Brenae, Tyrell Stanley, and Jay Frisby are swings.
Based on the novel by Alice Walker and the Steven Spielberg-directed movie of the same name, The Color Purple features a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray.
The Signature production also has music direction by Mark G. Meadows, choreography by Dane Figueroa Edidi, scenic design by Tony Cisek, costume design by Kara Harmon, lighting design by Peter Maradudin, sound design by Ryan Hickey, and hair, wig, and make-up design by J. Jared Janas.
Chelsea Pace and Greg Geffrard are co-intimacy choreographers with fight choreography by Casey Kaleba. Casting is by JZ Casting, Kelly Crandall D’Amboise, and Jorge Acevedo.
Kerry Epstein is the production stage manager, Taryn Friend is the assistant stage manager, Kelsey Jenkins is the production assistant, Ezinne Elele is the assistant director, Angie Benson is the associate music director, Channing Tucker is the assistant costume designer, Tony Lauro is the associate hair, wig, and make-up designer, and Alexander Greenberg is the keyboard programmer.
The musical premiered on Broadway in 2005 starring LaChanze, who won a Tony for her performance as Celie. The 2015 revival received Tonys for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for Cynthia Erivo’s Celie.
Warner Bros.' feature film adaptation of the The Color Purple musical is slated to hit theatres December 20, 2023.