Camille A. Brown Makes History Directing And Choreographing Broadway Show

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Camille A. Brown is making history on Broadway, becoming the first Black woman in over six decades to both direct and choreograph a show. 

Brown is set to direct and choreograph the upcoming production of the seminal work of Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow is Enuf. The production is scheduled to hit Broadway in 2022 and will mark the first time in 65 years a Black woman will be taking on both roles in the play’s production. 

Before Brown, Katherine Dunham was the first Black woman to direct and choreograph a Broadway production in November 1955. 

This isn’t the first time Brown has made history or carried on the legacy of Black women on Broadway. In 2019, Brown became the first Black woman in over 20 years nominated for the Tony Award for Best Choreography. Prior to Brown’s nomination, Marlies Yearby was the last Black woman to be nominated for the award for her work in the 1996 production of Rent

The forthcoming production will be Brown’s director debut, though her resume is extensive. Brown, who serves as the Founder and Artistic Director of her dance company, choreographed Choir Boy and Once On This Island. She also worked on Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, to name a few.

Brown’s work centers issues of identity, and fuses ancestral and contemporary storytelling through movement. 

“Social dance for social change is reclaiming Black narratives, giving Africa Diaspora culture its rightful place in American culture, fostering learning and creativity, and spreading the joy of dance. It aims to create safe spaces for healing and connection and a creative environment for leadership building and consciousness-raising,” a statement on Brown’s website reads.

To learn more about Brown's dance company and productions, click here.

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