Audra McDonald on Bringing Adrienne Kennedy’s Ohio State Murders to Broadway: ‘It’s About Damn Time’ | Srtalent


Tamsen Fadal & Audra McDonald
(Photo: Cyd Sacks)

The bow of Ohio State Murders, starring six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, marks the Broadway debut of 91-year-old playwright Adrienne Kennedy. It ia also the first show to play the newly renamed James Earl Jones Theatre. On The Broadway Show, McDonald sat down with host Tamsen Fadal to talk about the importance of the play and more.

“I’m so grateful to be a part of it,” McDonald said about starring in Ohio State Murders. The play, directed by Tony winner Kenny. Leon, offers an unusual look at the destructiveness of racism in the United States. “She’s been writing incredible, singular, poetic, deep, profound plays since the ’60s, and it’s just now that someone has being been willing to actually commercially produce it on Broadway. It’s about damn time, but I wish it could’ve happened earlier for her. Perhaps now we’re in an environment where more people will really be able to understand the play and receive it and give it the flowers that it truly deserves.”

Will Swenson & Audra McDonald (Photo by Emilio Madrid for

McDonald is on Broadway this season at. the same time her husband, Will Swenson, is taking the stage as Neil Diamond in A Beautiful Noise just a few blocks away at the Broadhurst Theatre. The couple celebrated 10 years of marriage this year. “It’s wonderful in that we both understand what the other is going through,” McDonald said. “It’s hardest right now, honestly, on our six-year-old. She’s saying things like, ‘Who’s putting me to bed tonight?’ That’s tugging on our heartstrings quite a bit. It’s going be harder on Will because it’s a much longer show. He’s got a lot more sequins—and platform boots.”

McDonald also opened up about a recent Instagram post about aging. “You feel shamed by society by what your body is going through: the weight gain, the hot flashes, the insomnia, the memory loss, the heart palpitations—there’s so many different things that encapsulate what going through menopause is,” she said. “I thought, ‘I’m just going to be open and honest about this.'”

Watch the interview below and head here to check your local listings for The Broadway Show. Hosted by Fadal, it is the only nationally syndicated weekly theater news program.

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