Broadway favorite Brenda Braxton will make her debut as a producer with Off-Broadway's Pay the Writer, set to begin performances August 13 at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center.
“In the never-ending journey of trying to stay relevant in this business, as a woman of color and 'of a certain age,' this opportunity just seemed like the perfect next step to take," says Braxton in a statement. "Once I read the play, it was a no brainer! The writing is superb and shines under the helm of a wonderful director and great cast. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason and at the right time. So, when producers Sandy Marshall and Mitchell Maxwell approached me (that was awesome in itself), I figured it was the universe saying, ‘Here you go.’ I didn't have to find the perfect project—it found me!”
A Tony nominee for her performance in Smokey Joe's Café, Braxton has enjoyed a career of more than four decades on Broadway. Among her many credits are roles in Dreamgirls, Cats, Legs Diamond, Jelly's Last Jam, and, most recently, Chicago.
As previously announced, the timely new play from Tawni O'Dell (Back Roads) will play a seven-week limited engagement Off-Broadway beginning August 13 and opening August 31, with performances continuing through September 30. Karen Carpenter (Love, Loss, and What I Wore) is directing, with a cast including Ron Canada (Network) as writer Cyrus Holt, Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives) as Lana Holt, Bryan Batt (Mad Men) as literary agent Bruston Fischer, Steven Hauck (The Velocity of Autumn) as Jean Luc, Miles G. Jackson (Chicken & Biscuits) as Young Bruston and Taz, Garrett Turner (Tina - The Tina Turner Musical) as Young Cyrus, Danielle J. Summons (Baby) as Gigi, and Stgephen Payne (Straight White Men) as Homeless Man.
The new play follows the friendship between a white, gay literary agent and his best friend and most successful client, a gifted Black writer. The first performance will be a benefit in support of the Writers Guild of America, which is currently on strike.
The production will feature scenic design by David Gallo, costume design by David C. Woolard, lighting design by Chistopher Akerlind, sound design by Bill Toles, and props by Yuki Nakamura. The limited run is also produced by Alexander "Sandy" Marshall, Mitchell Maxwell, Giles Cole, and MarMaxMedia.
Tickets are available at OffBroadway.VenueTix.com.