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1st Annual Black Women on Broadway Awards Honor Lynn Nottage, Qween Jean, Kara Young

ES Staff  |  Broadway Theatre

After a period of two years, they are finally beginning to carry their idea into the real world by hosting their first awards event. Those that were recognized include Kara Young, Qween Jean, and Lynn Nottage.

"We're really getting into the spaces that get overlooked," says Brooks. "That includes the lighting departments, the sound departments, the understudies, writers, and producers." They have high hopes that the industry can benefit from the creation of a purposeful chance for fellowship.

The group was motivated to form by annual gatherings such as the Black Women in Hollywood celebration hosted by Essence and the Sistahs Soiree hosted by Alfre Woodard. The three friends have organized the first event on their own time, in between their various professions. According to Brooks, "we wanted to set the standard for what an event like this could be," which can be found in the quote above. At the very first Black Women on Broadway gala, special recognition will be bestowed upon Audra McDonald, Lynn Nottage, and Jocelynne Young. The event will feature between seventy-five and one hundred Black women, with a split of fifty-fifty between actors and artists working below the line.

Brooks says that McDonald is "lowkey is the Cicely Tyson of the theater. Can't nobody touch her because she's won more Tony's than anybody ever."

"To commune with someone like herself and to share space with her is an honor," said Brooks. "We want to make sure that we are shouting their names and admitting that they are never going to be forgotten," said Bioh. The Black Women on Broadway are working on putting up a mentorship program as well as a web series that will feature video essays.

Their whole body of work is centered on the mission of "paying it forward" to the subsequent generation of young Black female artists who aspire to build a name for themselves on the Great White Way. "It may be helping people grow, learn, process, and deal, and having a soft area to land when things are truly tough," the author writes. "It can be helping people grow, learn, process, and deal."

Follow Black Women on Broadway on social media for more information.