The full cast lineup of Upon These Shoulders has been announced, with Tony winners Whoopi Goldberg, André De Shields, and George Faison joining the streaming concert. As previously announced, the special is presented by Black Theatre Coalition in partnership with Playbill.
Upon These Shoulders begins streaming February 27 at 8 PM via On the Stage. Click here for tickets.
The full lineup features Ahmad Simmons, Aisha Jackson, Amber Iman, Anastacia McCleskey, André De Shields, Ari Groover, Bebe Winans, Brandon Victor Dixon, Brittney Johnson, Bryonha Parham, Camille A. Brown, Carly Hughes, Charles Randolph-Wright, Christina Sajous, Daniel J. Watts, DJ Duggz, George Faison, Harry Lennix, Khaila Wilcoxon, Kimberly Marable, Lilli Cooper, Malcolm Armwood, Marisha Wallace, Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Washington, D.C. Muriel Bowser, Marlies Yearby, Merle Dandridge, Michael R. Jackson, Nathan Lee Graham, Nick Rashad Burroughs, Norm Lewis, Paul Tazewell, Phillip Boykin, Raja Feather Kelly, Savion Glover, Shereen Pimentel, Stephanie Umoh, Tamika Lawrence, Tituss Burgess, Tracee Beazer Barrett, Tramaine Gray, Valisia LeKae, Whoopi Goldberg and Wynton Marsalis.
Using performances, interviews, and video messages from Broadway stars and arts workers, the show will spotlight the history of Black artists’ creativity, magnify the work of today’s Black artists, and shed a light on the future of American theatre along with those who are going to lead the way. The concert will also highlight the work of the Black Theatre Coalition, emphasizing its leadership as the community moves the needle towards equity.
Proceeds from Upon These Shoulders will go directly to BTC’s Fellowship Initiative which will launch in the fall. 42 paid fellowships will be awarded in various categories of management, design, creative, casting, PR, and marketing.
The evening, produced in association with Jacquelyn Bell, will be directed by T. Oliver Reid and Warren Adams with a script by Jess Carson and music direction by Michael O. Mitchell. Daniel P. Calderon and #WorkFromHome provide additional video filming and production with sound mixing and editing from GSI Studios.
The Black Theatre Coalition team includes Reid, Adams, Reggie Van Lee, Aaliytha Stevens, Afton Battle, Tamica Clanton, and Anthony McDonald. BTC's mission is to remove the illusion of inclusion in the American Theatre by building an ethical and sustainable roadmap that will increase employment opportunities for Black Theatre Professionals.
Upon These Shoulders is made possible thanks to title sponsor Cadillac and additional sponsorships by GEICO, City National Bank, American Express, and AARP.
A special American Express® Exclusive Package—which includes a ticket to the virtual concert and a pre-filmed virtual concert post-show event starting at 8:00pm(ET) with Tony Award Nominees Norm Lewis and Brandon Victor Dixon—is available exclusively for American Express Card Members.