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"Trouble in Mind" by Alice Childress, at Playmakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, N.C. Pictured: Kathryn Hunter-Williams. (Photo by Jon Gardiner)

Roundabout Postpones Season to Spring, Adds Childress’s ‘Trouble in Mind’

Next spring the theatre plans to mount ‘Caroline, or Change’ and ‘1776,’ and in the fall and winter, ‘Birthday Candles’ and ‘Trouble in Mind,’ in its belated Main Stem bow.

NEW YORK CITY: Roundabout Theatre Company has announced that its current season will resume in the spring of 2021, and has added the Broadway debut of Alice Childress’s backstage comedy Trouble in Mind, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, to its roster of upcoming shows.

“With the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic and with concern for our artists, staff, and audiences, we have determined that we will not be able to reopen our theaters this fall,” said Roundabout artistic director/CEO Todd Haimes in a statement. “While this decision brings tremendous financial challenges—and is genuinely heartbreaking—our artistic team is continuing to build and evolve our work for the future. I’m pleased to add Alice Childress to the lineup of great writers that Roundabout celebrates and to give this play its overdue Broadway premiere, directed by our board member and friend Charles Randolph-Wright.”

Childress, a founding member of the American Negro Theatre, was the first Black woman to be produced professionally in New York (with Gold Through the Trees in 1952), and though Trouble in Mind had a successful Off-Broadway run in 1955 and has appeared with some frequency at regional theatres, it was announced for a Broadway transfer in 1957 that never materialized. Randolph-Wright is a celebrated director and writer whose play Blue ran at Roundabout in 2001 (and was recently slated to be revived at the Apollo Theatre before the coronavirus lockdown intervened).

Roundabout’s previously scheduled spring 2020 productions sidelined by COVID-19 will return in spring 2021, alongside 1776, which is slated to go forward as planned at the American Airlines Theatre, directed by Diane Paulus. The theatre’s spring slate will include Caroline, or Change by Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner, starring Sharon D Clarke, on Broadway at Studio 54, directed by Michael Longhurst; …what the end will be, by Jiréh Breon Holder, at the Off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold & Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, directed by Margot Bordelon; and Exception to the Rule, by Dave Harris, also at the Steinberg Center, directed by Miranda Haymon.

Then, in the fall of 2021, Birthday Candles, by Noah Haidle, starring Debra Messing, which had been slated for this coming fall, will open on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre, directed by Vivienne Benesch.  All additional details including dates and casting for these productions will be announced in Fall 2020.

Founded in 1965, Roundabout Theatre Company strives to spotlight classics from the past, cultivate new works of the present, and educate minds for the future.

Creative credits for photo: Trouble in Mind at Playmakers Repertory Company, written by Alice Childress, directed by Jade King Carroll, with sound design by Robert Dagit, costume design by Karen Perry, scenic design by Alexis Distler, lighting design by Kathy A. Perkins.

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