The First Play Returning to Broadway Is Doing Things Differently
This episode contains strong language.
Antoinette Nwandu’s “Pass Over” made her Broadway debut this week. Drawing inspiration from “Waiting for Godot” and the Book of Exodus, the play follows two black men trapped in a city block – both by existential terror and fear of being killed by the police. .
But Broadway audiences won’t see the play’s original ending, which featured the death of one of the main characters.
“I didn’t want to work on a play that ended with the murder of a black man anymore,” said Nwandu, who rewrote the final scene. “I want to focus on life.
Nwandu’s play was the first to make its Broadway debut since theaters closed in March 2020 and the first since a coalition of colored theater artists demanded a change in the theatrical ecosystem in America.
Nwandu spoke to theater reporter Michael Paulson about the changes she is personally making in theater and her hopes for the industry – still grappling with the pandemic – as the curtains rise again.
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