‘Slave Play’ doesn’t win any Tony Awards despite record nominations

Experts predicted the play's 12 nominations would result in its creators taking home a few of the night's top honors.

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Despite a record number of nominations for Tony Awards, Jeremy O. Harris’ acclaimed Broadway play, Slave Play, won no awards during Sunday night’s ceremony. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, experts predicted Slave Play‘s 12 nominations would result in its creators taking home a few of the night’s top honors. Instead, the production failed to win a single award. 

Joaquina Kalukango (left) and Paul Alexander Nolan (right) are shown in a scene from the multiple Tony Award-nominated stage production of “Slave Play.” (Matthew Murphy/O&M Co. via AP)

On Twitter, Harris, the play’s writer, appeared unfazed.

He tweeted in a thread, “Slave Play has never won one of the major awards of any of the great voting bodies but changed a culture and has inspired thousands of ppl who didn’t care about theatre before. I saw someone randomly reading the play in Slovenia. We already won. I wrote my play for a basement.” 

Harris’ three-act play asks the question: What does it really mean to be Black in a relationship with a white partner? It features several interracial couples who begin in the antebellum South, but end up in a modern-day therapy session. 

The New York Times called it a “buzzy and provocative drama,” which, despite faring the worst-ever Tony Awards loss, is returning to Broadway to compel audiences at the August Wilson Theatre this November. 

The original cast features Ato Blankson-Wood, Chalia La Tour, Irene Sofia Lucio, Annie McNamara and Paul Alexander Nolan, who will all be back. Actress Joaquina Kalukango will not return in November. 

The play is the eighth one by a Black writer to run on Broadway this season, which is a record number. 

Slave Play‘s producers — Greg Nobile and Jana Shea, as well as actor Jake Gyllenhaal — are vowing to make 10,000 tickets available for $39, as well as to hold invitation-only “Black Out” performances to engage Black audiences who might not otherwise see it. 

After its November to late January 2022 return to Broadway, the production will enjoy a West Coast run in Los Angeles at the Center Theater Group.

Per Broadway World, Harris had this to say about the play returning: “Slave Play‘s return engagement marks for me a chance for New York and the world to re-meet a play that many met at New York Theatre Workshop and Broadway in 2018 and 2019, and that thousands of others met in its published edition in a year when theaters around the world were dark.”

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