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New Village Arts Presents “The Color Purple”

By   /  May 14, 2024  /  No Comments

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Based on the novel written by Alice Walker and The Warner Bros/Amblin Entertainment Picture

THE COLOR PURPLE was produced on Broadway at the Broadway Theater by Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders, Roy Furman, and Quincy Jones. The world premiere of THE COLOR PURPLE was produced by the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia.

Carlsbad, CA—New Village Arts (NVA), North County’s cultural hub, presents the San Diego Professional Premiere of the groundbreaking musical: THE COLOR PURPLE, based on the novel by Alice Walker, with book by Marsha Norman, and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray.  THE COLOR PURPLE will be directed by Kandace Crystal, musical direction by Leigh Scarritt, and choreography by Alyssa “Ajay” Junious. This will be the final production of our 22nd season, performed on the newly appointed Ray Charles Stage in the Conrad Prebys Theatre at the Dea Hurston New Village Arts Center. THE COLOR PURPLE will run from June 22nd – July 21st, 2024. Previews will be held from June 14th-21st, with an Opening Night Reception on June 22nd, 2024.

Adapted from Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, THE COLOR PURPLE chronicles the inspiring journey of Celie, a remarkable woman who discovers her inner strength and voice amidst a lifetime of adversity. Set against the backdrop of 40 years, THE COLOR PURPLE follows Celie’s evolution from a downtrodden young woman to a beacon of hope and empowerment. Featuring a vibrant score infused with jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music, and blues, this musical celebration is a testament to the human spirit and the healing power of love.

THE COLOR PURPLE premiered at the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia, before captivating audiences on Broadway in 2005, where it received eleven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score. Its triumphant journey continued with a Tony Award-winning revival in 2015, and an award winning movie adaptation in 2023, starring Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, and Danielle Brooks.

The creative team for THE COLOR PURPLE is full of San Diego’s finest. Kandace Crystal is set to pioneer this groundbreaking musical, with musical direction by Leigh Scarritt and choreography by Alyssa “Ajay” Junious. Kandace & Alyssa recently worked together for NVA’s most recent production of

Dea Hurston’s 1222 OCEANFRONT: A BLACK FAMILY CHRISTMAS in 2023. This will be Leigh’s debut with New Village Arts. Joseff Paz will stage manage this musical with Tori Jones assisting; Reiko Huffman (1222 OCEANFRONT: A BLACK FAMILY CHRISTMAS, 2023, DESERT ROCK GARDEN) will be the scenic consultant; lighting design and assistant choreography by Kevin “Blax” Burroughs; sound design by Marc Akiyama; props design by Aria Proctor (1222 OCEANFRONT: A BLACK FAMILY CHRISTMAS, 2023); costume design by Janet Pitcher (winner of the 2023 San Diego Critics Circle Award for Costuming); wig design by Jaqueline Dennis with assistance and maintenance by Kevane La’Marr Coleman; fight choreography by Jake Millgard; intimacy coordination by Kate Rose Reynolds; and audio operation by Marcus Rico. The rehearsal accompanist will be Susie Zapata. Crystal has put together an incredible company of performers for this production. Leading the cast as Celie is Brooke Henderson (NVA Debut), Hadiyyah Noelle as Shug (NVA Debut), and Actors Equity Member Kirk Brown as Mister (NVA Debut). Eboni Muse, a fan favorite at New Village Arts (BEEHIVE, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS & SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE) will take the stage as Sofia. Continuing the cast is Kingsley Jackson (NVA Debut) as Harpo, and Taylor Renee Henderson (NVA Debut) as Nettie. Another NVA veteran, Jasmine January (who has starred in over six productions of NVA, including INTO THE WOODS, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE) also joins the cast as Squeak and Shug understudy. Kiara Hudlin, NVA’s Education and Fellowship Manager will be in the ensemble, as well as understudying the role of Nettie. Completing the ensemble are Kevane La’Marr Coleman, Destiny

Denny, Isaac Jackson, Nio Russell, and Erin Vanderhyde.  Sierra Alicea will join the cast as a understudy and swing.

Hadiyyah Noelle had this to say about the upcoming production:I am absolutely ecstatic to be performing my dream show with this amazing cast! It’s not that often that we get to see the stories of Black and queer people represented and I’m so honored to get to play one of my dream roles while also bringing this representation to this area on stage for all the viewers that might see themselves in me.

NVA’s Founder and Artistic Director, Kristianne Kurner says: THE COLOR PURPLE is one of the most important stories of our lifetime, and NVA has been fortunate to put together the most amazing group of artists to bring the story to life in Carlsbad. We are honored to be the San Diego professional premiere of this groundbreaking musical that is all about the power of love and sisterhood.”

As we embark on this profound journey with THE COLOR PURPLE, we extend a heartfelt invitation to join us in amplifying the powerful message of Black voices, resilience, love, and empowerment that resonates within this iconic production.

THE COLOR PURPLE at NVA is sponsored by the Peace Thru Arts Foundation, the County of San Diego’s Board of Supervisors’ Community Enhancement Grant, Visit Carlsbad, and the ongoing support of the Prebys Foundation. Let us unite in celebration of the human spirit and the enduring legacy of THE COLOR PURPLE – the musical about LOVE.

Based on the novel written by Alice Walker and The Warner Bros/Amblin Entertainment Picture

Book by Marsha NormanMusic and Lyrics by Brenda Russell • Allee Willis • Stephen Bray

Directed by Kandace Crystal • Musical Direction by Leigh ScarrittChoreography by Alyssa :Ajay” Junious

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