Audra McDonald, the undisputed queen of live theater, will return to Broadway in “Ohio State Murders,” a new play by Adrienne Kennedy.
The show, which will look at the destructiveness and corrosiveness of racism in this country, will be directed by Kenny Leon, the architect of the recent acclaimed revivals of “Fences” and “A Soldier’s Play.” Despite the fact that Kennedy has been working at the top of her game for decades, having written the likes of “Funnyhouse of a Negro” and “Sleep Deprivation Chamber” while winning Obie Awards, this marks her Broadway debut at the age of 90.
“I am so thrilled. It’s only taken me 65 years to make it to Broadway!” said Kennedy.
“Ohio State Murders” premieres at a time when Broadway is making strides to broaden the range of plays it stages beyond revivals of canonical shows from largely white writers. This season marks a record number of productions from Black writers and playwrights of color, including Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s “Pass Over,” Lynn Nottage’s “Clyde’s,” Keenan Scott II’s “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” and Dominique Morisseau’s “Skeleton Crew.”
McDonald, who currently holds the record for the performer with the most Tony Awards with six statues, last appeared on Broadway in the 2019 revival of “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” She has starred in the likes of “Carousel,” “Master Class,” “Ragtime,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” and “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” She also has won two Emmy Awards and a Grammy. She can currently be seen in “The Good Fight” on Paramount Plus, as well as in Spectrum’s pandemic-themed drama, “The Bite.”
“Ohio State Murders” opens as Suzanne Alexander (McDonald), a fictional Black writer, returns to Ohio State University to talk about the violence in her writing. That sets in motion the unraveling of a dark mystery.
The producing team for “Ohio State Murders” is led by Jeffrey Richards, Rebecca Gold, Jayne Baron Sherman and Irene Gandy. “Ohio State Murders” will announce its premiere and the theater where it will play at a later date.