Audra McDonald returning to Broadway in ‘Ohio State Murders’

The six-time Tony winner will play Suzanne Alexander in Adrienne Kennedy's play

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Broadway shows are officially coming back, and with them, some of their greatest stars. Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald will make her grand return in Ohio State Murders by Adrienne Kennedy.

Like most industries, Broadway suffered a major setback with the COVID-19 pandemic. With the lights dark on Broadway for over a year, shows are finally returning to “The Great White Way,” with popular musicals like Hamilton and Wicked opening again in the past few months. New shows have also been sprouting up like Thoughts of a Colored Man and Chicken & Biscuits.

Now, another play has been announced that will see Broadway royalty McDonald back on stage.

Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald attends the 74th Annual Tony Awards at Winter Garden Theater on September 26, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The production will see McDonald reunite with Kenny Leon, who directed the actress and singer in the Tony Award-winning 2004 production of A Rasin in the Sun, and in the subsequent 2008 TV adaptation. Leon recently won a Tony for directing A Soldier’s Play starring Blair Underwood and David Alan Grier. He also directed the successful productions of American Son, Children of a Lesser God, Holler If Ya Hear Me, and more.

Per Deadline, the producers of Ohio State Murders describe the play as, “an unusual look at the destructiveness of racism in the United States.” The official synopsis reads: “When Suzanne Alexander (McDonald), a Black writer, returns to Ohio State University to talk about the violence in her writing, a dark mystery unravels.”

Adrienne Kennedy
American playwright Adrienne Kennedy, UK, 11th August 1967. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The production also marks a major milestone for playwright Kennedy, who is 90-years-old. While many of her plays including Funnyhouse of a Negro, June and Jean in Concert, and Sleep Deprivation Chamber have had successful and award-winning runs Off-Broadway, she will make her Broadway debut when this play premieres.

She shared in a statement along with the announcement, “I am so thrilled. It’s only taken me 65 years to make it to Broadway!” This accomplishment comes a few years after she was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2018.

Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for “Lady Day“ onstage during the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

As previously mentioned, McDonald holds the record for most Tony Awards won by an actor with six, and the only actor to win for all four acting categories. The multi-talented performer earned her Tonys for performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.

More details surrounding the upcoming production, including casting, production dates and more will be unveiled in the coming months.

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