Nova Y. Payton & More will star in THE COLOR PURPLE at the Signature Theater


Signature Theater has announced the cast and creative team for the musical The Color Purple by Marsha Norman (book), Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray (music and lyrics), based on the novel by Alice Walker and Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment Film. The Color Purple is directed by Timothy Douglas (Signature’s Spunk, Portland Center Stage’s The Color Purple), with Nova Y. Payton (Signature’s After Midnight, Dreamgirls) as Celie. Performances are August 16 through October 9, 2022 at Signature’s MAX Theater. Tickets are available at

“The Color Purple is a story of spirituality, forgiveness and love,” said artistic director Matthew Gardiner. “Celie rises above oppression and pain to discover her own strength. Signature is fortunate to have Nova Y. Payton leading this extraordinary enterprise as Celie, under the guidance of the remarkable Timothy Douglas. I look forward to welcoming audiences to experience the divine beauty of the world around them this fall at The Color Purple.”

“As anyone who has read Alice Walker’s book can attest, Celie’s experience – in conversation with her God – radiates the vibratory effect of the music that stirs in the soul of the reader with each of her prayers. “said the director of The Color Purple. Timothy Douglas. “With this presentation of the musical play, the inspired music is real and will awaken all the senses! The spirit, essence and appearance of this Signature theatrical communion is The Color Purple.”

In The Color Purple, a teenage Celie is torn from her beloved sister and forced into an abusive marriage. Over the next forty years, as Celie encounters repression, despair and heartache, she also discovers hope in a group of friends who inspire her to find her voice, discover her beauty and change her life. Dane Figueroa Edidi (Spunk by Signature, The Color Purple by Portland Center Stage) is the choreographer and Mark G. Meadows (RENT by Signature, After Midnight) is the musical director.

In addition to Nova Y. Payton, the cast of The Color Purple includes Danielle J. Summons (Off-Broadway’s Baby, National Tour of Les Misérables) as Shug Avery, Frenchie Davis (Broadway’s RENT, The Voice) as as Sofia, Kaiyla Gross (Signature’s RENT, Olney Theater Center’s Miss You Like Hell) as Nettie, Stephawn P. Stephens (Signature’s Billy Elliot, Dreamgirls) as Ol’ Mister/Preacher, Solomon Parker III (Signature’s RENT, Ford’s Theater’s The Wiz) as Harpo, Tẹmídayọ Amay (Round House Theatre’s Schools Girls; Or, Kennedy Center’s The African Mean Girls Play, She A Gem) as Squeak, and Torrey Linder (National Tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Playhouse on Park’s The Scottsboro Boys) as Mister. Rounding out the ensemble are Ian Anthony Coleman (Signature’s Grand Hotel), Jalisa Williams (ArtsCentric’s Chicago), Keenan McCarter (Southern Illinois Summer Music Festival’s Romeo and Juliet), Nia Savoy-Dock (Constellation Theater Company’s Aida), Raquel Jennings (Ford’s Theatre’s Grace), Sean-Maurice Lynch (Signature’s Dreamgirls), Tobias A. Young (Ford’s Theatre’s Ragtime) and Yewande Odetoyinbo (Studio Theatre’s Torch Song Trilogy). Catrina Brenae, Gabrielle Rice and Jay Frisby are swingers.

The Color Purple’s creative team includes Scenic Design by Tony Cisek (Columbinus of New York Theater Workshop, Arena Stage’s Disgraced), Costume Design by Kara Harmon (Cullud Wattah of Public Theatre, The Wiz of Ford’s Theatre), Lighting Design by Peter Maradudin (Broadway’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Kentucky Cycle), Sound Design by Ryan Hickey (Signature’s She Loves Me, RENT), and Hair, Wig & Make-up Design by J. Jared Janas (Signature’s After Midnight, Broadway’s How I Learned to Drive). Chelsea Pace and Greg Geffrard are the Co-Intimacy choreographers. The fight choreography is by Casey Kaleba. New York Casting is by JZ Casting. Signature Casting is by Kelly Crandall D’Amboise and Jorge Acevedo. Kerry Epstein is Production Manager, Taryn Friend is Assistant Manager, Kelsey Jenkins is Production Assistant, Ezinne Elele is Assistant Director, Angie Benson is Associate Music Director, Channing Tucker is Assistant costume designer, Tony Lauro is the associate hairstylist, wig and make-up, and Alexander Greenberg is the keyboard programmer.


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