Inclusive Dates: 2001
Roundabout Theatre Company staged a New York premiere of Charles Randolph-Wright's play Blue at the Gramercy Theatre, with first preview on June 2, opening night June 28, and closing night September 23, 2001. Blue was originally commissioned and produced by Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. under the artistic direction of Molly Smith and executive director Stephen Richard.
While the play was met with mixed reviews, many critics praised its fresh look at middle-class African-American families. John Lahr, writing for the New Yorker, wrote that the play was one of a new breed of theatre: "a sitcom with song".
Directed by Sheldon Epps, with set design by James Leonard Joy, costume design by Debra Bauer, lighting design by Michael Gilliam and sound design by Kurt Eric Fischer.
Hill Harper played the part of Reuben Clark (adult), Chad Tucker played the parts of Reuben Clark (young)/Blue Williams Jr, Phylicia Rashad played the part of Peggy Clark, Michael McElroy played the part of Blue Williams, Howard W. Overshown played the part of Sam Clark III, Messeret Stroman played the part of LaTonya Dinkins, Randall Shepperd played the part of Samuel Clark Jr., Jewell Robinson played the part of Tillie Clark. Understudies/Standby: Elizabeth Van Dyke, Robert Tyree, Jennifer Hunter.
Blue premiered at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. in April 2000. The play tells the story of the Clark family who runs a funeral home in a small town in South Carolina. The play is a comedy about a well-to-do African American family that focuses on the universal need for tenderness, acceptance and the search for unconditional love (Roundabout press release, May 9, 2001).
Production records spanning 3 Hollinger boxes with extensive stage documentation including lighting, set and sound details.
Digital file includes:
Costume photographs of mink coat (jpg)
Scan of education guide (PDF/A 221MB)
General Management files (12.3 MB)
Media Files with cast album, interviews and b-roll (69.6GB)
Scan of playbill (jpgs, 70GB)
Scan of select press clippings (PDF, 6.67MB)
9 color production photos with 1 black and white cast/crew print (3.71MB)
Show art file (64.6MB)
Stage Manager's Bible (sound cues) (471KB)
Oversize files include:
Light plot (1 page)
General ground plans (8 pages)
Marketing File includes:
Mockup and ad placement documentation
Access Restrictions: Open and available for research by appointment only.
Preferred Citation: Blue (2001), Roundabout Theatre Company Archives
Library of Congress Subject Heading Roundabout Theatre CompanyRandolph-Wright, CharlesRashad, Phylicia, 1948-Harper, Hill, 1966-Hendryx, Nona. BlueMcElroy, Michael, 1967-Overshown, Howard W.Joy, James LeonardEpps, SheldonHaimes, ToddArena Stage (Organization : Washington, D.C.)Pasadena PlayhouseAfrican American families in literature Related Staged Production
Box contains artistic/management documentation, including author's agreement, performance reports, casting.
Box contains stage documentation, including score, design elements and cast album.
Box contains script variations, including prompt, master, opening night and Arena Stage versions.