The inaugural Black Women on Broadway Awards went down on the rooftop of the Empire Hotel in New York City on June 6.
Mahalia actress Danielle Brooks and fellow award-winning performers Amber Iman and Jocelyn Bioh launched Black Women on Broadway in 2020. The platform is geared toward providing a sense of community and mentorship for Black women in the industry.
The honorees included playwright Lynn Nottage [the Audra McDonald Legacy Award], costume designer Qween Jean [the Kathy A. Perkins Behind the Curtain Award] and actress Kara Young [the Florence Mills Rising Star Prize].
The intimate gathering reportedly had about 75-100 Black women in attendance, including the cast of Broadway’s recent adaption of For Colored Girls, Nikki Renee Daniels (Hamilton), Brittney Johnson (Wicked), Emilie Kouatchou (The Phantom of the Opera) and more.
Sponsors supporting the event included Morgan Stanley, the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Door 24, Creative Partners Productions and more.
“The thing that separates us from other organizations is we’re really tapping into the spaces that get ignored — the lighting departments, sound departments, the understudies, the writers, the producers, the people that are not always in the front of the stage, that aren’t the actors. We’re bringing space for them to be in the room,” Brooks told Variety earlier this year about the organization.
“That’s really great for networking, but also for reminding this industry we are out here. Reminding younger girls that look up to us that there are different positions in this industry that you can aspire to that aren’t just being an actress. To expand our sphere and say, ‘Black women can take on all of it.’”