Oscar-Winning ‘Black Panther’ Production Designer & Emmy-Winning ‘Watchmen’ Costume Designer Join ‘The Wiz’ On Road To Broadway
EXCLUSIVE: The Wiz is getting ready for the road to Broadway with an award-winning design team, including Oscar-winning Black Panther production designer Hannah Beachler and Emmy-winning Watchmen costume designer Sharen Davis.
The design team, which also includes lighting design by Ryan J. O’Gara (Thoughts of a Colored Man) and wig design by Academy Award-winning Mia Neal (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), was announced today by producers Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Brian Anthony Moreland, and Ambassador Theatre Group.
As previously reported, the all-new production of the groundbreaking Broadway hit musical will launch a national tour in fall 2023 in Baltimore (where the original musical debuted in 1974), before arriving on Broadway for a limited engagement in spring 2024.
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Featuring a book by William F. Brown and a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others), director Schele Williams (The Notebook, revival of Disney’s Aida), choreographer JaQuel Knight (Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”), Amber Ruffin (additional material), and Joseph Joubert (music supervision, orchestrations, & music arrangements) the production is described as a 21st Century Wiz combining elements of ballet, jazz and modern pop.
Casting has yet to be announced.
In addition to Black Panther, Beachler’s production design credits also include, among others, Beyonce’s Black Is King, the OTRII Tour and the concept album Lemonade. She made Oscar history as the first African American to be nominated for and win an Academy Award for her work on Marvel’s Black Panther, directed by frequent collaborator Ryan Coogler (Creed). She returned for its sequel, Marvel’s Black Panther Wakanda Forever. Beachler is the first ever female production designer of a Marvel film franchise.
Costume designer Davis received an Emmy Award in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costume category for her work on HBO’s Watchmen. She was Oscar-nominated for her work on Ray and Dreamgirls. Other credits include Westworld and The Help. She received the Costume Designers Guild’ Career Achievement Award in 2022.
O’Gara lighting design credits include Broadway’s Thoughts of a Colored Man and the national tours of Million Dollar Quartet – Christmas, A Night with Janis Joplin and The Little Prince, among others. Hairstylist and wig designer Mia Neal was, with collaborator Jamika Wilson, the first Black nominees and winners in the Best Hair and Makeup category at the Academy Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. She won an Emmy for Annie Live!, and other credits include Uncut Gems, The Humans, Tyler Perry’s A Jazzman’s Blues, and Pose.
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