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Why see Trouble in Mind?


As racial tensions simmer in the streets, a talented black actress in rehearsals for major Broadway production finds that the struggle for racial equality doesn't stop at the stage door in Alice Childress's seminal satire on racism in New York's theatrical world. Sound familiar? Well, Trouble In Mind actually debuted off-Broadway in 1955. Hailed by the Washington Post as one of the greatest plays about racism ever written, Trouble in Mind's darkly comic tone belies the sad fact it remains relevant to this day.

What is the story?

When the first integrated play is about to open on Broadway, racial tensions between the black and white players surface, and one African-American actress has a stark choice to make when it comes to chasing her dream role as a lead; whether swallow her pride and personal values and kowtow to the racist white director in order to realize her dream, or stand up for her fellow cast members and risk losing everything she has worked for.

The play was awarded an Obie Award in 1956 for best original Off-Broadway production, making her not only the first African-American female playwright but also the first to win an Obie. Ironically, the play faced its own racial struggles parallel to those featured in Chaos in Belleville, the very show that the cast of Trouble in Mind are trying to stage.

Key Information

Run Time

Two hours and 10 minutes with one interval


Finished Apr 9, 2023


LaChanze as Wiletta Mayer
Michael Zegen as Al Manners
Chuck Cooper asSheldon Forrester
Danielle Campbell as Judy Sears
Jessica Frances Dukes as Millie Davis
Brandon Micheal Hall as John Nevis
Simon Jones as Henry
Alex Mickiewicz as Eddie Fenton
Don Stephenson as Bill O'Wray
Peter Bradbury as u/s Bill O'Wray/Eddie Fenton/Henry
Victoria Oliver as u/s Judy Sears
Reynaldo Piniella as u/s John Nevins
Ray Anthony Thomas as u/s Sheldon Forrester
Nita Whitaker as Wiletta/Millie


Written by Alice Childress
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright
Set Design by Arnulfo Maldonado
Costume Design by Emilio Sosa
Light Design by Kathy A. Perkins
Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier
Hair & Wigs by Cookie Jordan
Original Music by Nona Hendryx


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