Happy Black History Month from Drama Kids!

by | Feb 15, 2024 | Blog, Home Page

Celebrate Black History Month with Drama Kids

This Black HIstory Month we wanted to talk about some of the amazing contributions that have been made to the world of theater by black theater artists. For example, we can’t imagine a world without the 1974 hit musical The Wiz! Lyrics and music for this show were written by Charlie Smalls and the book was written by William F Brown. This musical is a captivating retelling of L. Frank Baum’s children’s story, The Wizard of Oz, which was first published in 1900. The Wiz re-interprets this classic tale through the context of black American culture in the 1970’s.

The Wiz opened on October 21, 1974 in Baltimore at the Morris A. Mechanic Theater. Less than three months later, it was moved to Broadway’s Majestic theater with a new cast on January 5, 1975. The musical went on to win seven Tony awards, including best musical. After 1,672 performances and four years, the production closed on Broadway for the first time in 1979. The Wiz is largely considered a breakthrough moment in Broadway history for black theater as one of the first large-scale, big budget musicals featuring an all-black cast.

There was a North American tour of The Wiz in 2023 featuring new material by Amber Ruffin and directed by Schele Williams.This tour was received extremely well and is now taking up residence on Broadway once again at the Marquis Theatre on April 17th, 2024 and is projected to run through 2025. At Drama Kids we love celebrating how our differences make us GREAT. The inspiring story and history of The Wiz is a great example. Find a Drama Kids location near you today!

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