I can’t wait to welcome you to the Broadway debut of Alice Childress’s Trouble in Mind, an event that should have happened 66 years ago.
First performed off-Broadway in 1955 in the midst of the civil rights era, Trouble in Mind was well received and was optioned for a Broadway transfer. However, the transfer promise came with strings attached: The white producers stipulated that Childress needed to make significant changes. The playwright refused to soften a story about racism in the theatre, and eventually, the producers cancelled the transfer. I am proud that Roundabout is finally giving Trouble in Mind its long-overdue spotlight, at a moment when it couldn’t be more vital. This production and our new five-year strategic transformation plan reflect Roundabout’s reinvigorated commitment to address equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism throughout our organization.
Alice Childress started her path in the theatre as an actress. After years of performing, she grew dissatisfied with the roles available for Black women and decided to write them herself. Childress committed to writing about people who were typically ignored onstage, and the character of Wiletta was born out of this artistic breakthrough.
I am thrilled to welcome back Tony® and Emmy® award-winner LaChanze in that beautifully complex role; she hasn’t performed at Roundabout since our 1995 revival of Company. I also welcome director Charles Randolph-Wright, a longtime Roundabout collaborator and Board member, whose passion for Childress’s work and commitment to this play were essential during the years we’ve worked to bring Trouble in Mind to our stage.
I look forward to seeing you at the theatre!