Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Charles Randolph-Wright and teaming up to tell Sidney Poitier’s life story on Broadway.
Titled “Sidney,” the show will trace Poitier’s upbringing on Cat Island in the Bahamas to his rise to become America’s most revered actor and activist. The play “explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, pride and humility and the price for artistic integrity. Poitier has inspired many artists in multiple fields including encouraging Alice Childress to begin writing when they were both members at American Negro Theatre.
The play is being done with the blessing of the Poitier family, which selected Santiago-Hudson to direct the play and Randolph-Wright to the production. The play is adapted from Poitier’s best-selling autobiography The Measure of a Man.
In a statement, Randoph-Wright said, “The first time I met Sidney Poitier was decades ago when he saw a show I co-wrote and directed in Los Angeles. We went to dinner and I literally could not speak. He said to me, ‘If in any way I have inspired you, you have more than paid me back with what I saw this evening.’ I have held onto those words my entire career. And now to place his astonishing life on stage is the ultimate challenge and the ultimate joy. To have the trust of Mr. Poitier and his family is one of the greatest gifts I have been given – what an honor to get to dramatize the true measure of this monumental man. I look forward to the world discovering the astounding person that is behind one of our most prodigious heroes, a man who continues to inspire.”
Santiago-Hudson added, “Sir Sidney Poitier is clearly one of the greatest actors in the history of cinema. His integrity and standard of excellence set the bar for generations to come. It is an honor to be a part of celebrating the incomparable Sidney Poitier’s monumental career in this play but also the man and his extraordinary life.”
Ron Gillyard, Poitier’s daughter, filmmaker Anika Poitier, and Barry Krost are producing Sidney. Casting, creative team and production timeline will be announced at a later date.