Watch: Steve H. Broadnax on celebrating Juneteenth through Broadway

Steve H. Broadnax pays homage to the resilience and cultural heritage of the Black community for Juneteenth.

Steve H. Broadnax is renowned for his innovative and inclusive approach to theater, and he knew he had the perfect platform to create a meaningful experience for both the cast and the audience. Broadnax carefully curated a special event that would immerse everyone in the essence of Juneteenth and pay homage to the resilience and cultural heritage of the Black community. During this event, theGrio’s Natasha Alford and Broadnax discuss how he celebrates Juneteenth through Broadway.

The following is a transcript of that conversation.

Broadnax: [00:00:00] You don’t know who you are until you see your own reflection. So it’s important for us on the largest stage in the world, arguably, to see our stories, to see our journey reflected back to us, to know that we too sing America and deserve for all our spectrum of who we are to be represented. Broadway celebrates Juneteenth. It’s presented by the Broadway League Black to Broadway Initiative, and the goal of Black to Broadway is to inspire a deeper engagement with awareness of and access to Broadway for all black people. [00:00:38][38.3]

Alford: [00:00:59] I love the vision and the imagery of all these talented Broadway stars together, singing, performing, giving us words of inspiration on a day like Juneteenth. How hard is it to get all of these stars together? And what are some of the different productions that they come from? Tell us who tends to participate? [00:01:19][20.3]

Broadnax: [00:01:22] Yes, it is an exciting venture to get all these people together, and we put out a lot an application or ask for these artists to be a part. And a lot of the shows and a lot of people willingly are excited about this performance. So you have performance for current Broadway shows that will happen. Our host is Disney’s own Aladdin, Michael James Scott is our host for this performance. You will also see from “Shucked” on Broadway, from “Sweeney Todd” on Broadway, just all the current Broadway shows. We have a preview of the upcoming revival of “The Wiz,” which is coming up next week, will also be a preview performance from that show. Yes. So it is a lot of great Black performers coming together and celebrating. And also, let me shout out, we do a Juneteenth legendary legacy award honoree which this year goes to Kenny Leon, whom shoulders we stand on. [00:02:21][59.4]