“The Hardest Role I’ve Ever Played”: Your First Look at Audra McDonald in Ohio State Murders

Audra McDonald may be the most awarded Broadway actress of all time, but she’s not done challenging herself. This season she breathes life into Suzanne Alexander, the protagonist of Adrian Kennedy‘s game murders in the state of ohio, which opens at the James Earl Jones Theater on Thursday December 8th. “It’s the most difficult role I’ve ever played in my entire life,” says the six-time Tony winner vanity fair.

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McDonald stars next to it Bryce Pinkham, Mr Fitzgerald, Lizan Mitchell, and Abigail Stephenson in the production of Tony Winner Kenny Leon. In 1989, Adrienne Kennedy was commissioned to write a play by her hometown playhouse, the Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland. The resulting work was inspired in part by her experiences as a student at Ohio State University as a black woman in the 1940s. This game, murders in the state of ohio, winds and weaves through the memories of Suzanne Alexander – an avatar for Kennedy – as she returns to her alma mater as a visiting lecturer, confronting racism and loss while unraveling a dark mystery.

At age 91, the production marks Kennedy’s Broadway debut as a playwright, despite a flourishing and exciting career encouraged by other playwrights such as Edward Albee and winning an Obie Prize for her play in 1964 Funny house of a negro. In conversation with The New York Times, Kennedy explained succinctly why she’s only making her Broadway debut now, at the age of ninety: “It’s because I’m a black woman.” McDonald feels the weight of Kennedy’s reaction when the actor is tasked with directing Kennedy’s long-overdue debut on the appropriate nickname “The Great White Way”.

“I feel very responsible for telling the story to the best of my ability,” says McDonald. “And especially for [Adrienne Kennedy]as this is her Broadway debut to make sure we infuse it with as much truth and capture the spirit of Suzanne Alexander, the character, but at the same time I want to capture the spirit of who Adrienne Kennedy is too.”

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https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2022/12/the-hardest-role-ive-ever-played-your-first-look-at-audra-mcdonald-in-ohio-state-murders “The Hardest Role I’ve Ever Played”: Your First Look at Audra McDonald in Ohio State Murders

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