So long, Litchfield Penitentiary! Hello, Broadway!
Orange is the New Black‘s Danielle Brooks just landed the role of Sofia in the upcoming Broadway revival of The Color Purple, where she’ll be starring alongside Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo as Shug Avery and Celie, respectively.
“[The Color Purple] was actually the first Broadway show that I saw 10 years ago, and to now get to step into the part… my heart flutters every time I think about it,” Brooks told ESSENCE.com.
The actress, who trained at Julliard, has dreamed of starring in the production ever since she first saw it. Booking the role, she said, was like an out-of-body experience. Sweetening the deal was the fact that Oprah Winfrey, who played Sofia in the film, is signed on as a producer.
“The first thing I did was pray about it, and I just surrendered the same way that Oprah talks about it in her Master Class when she had to surrender for the same part,” Brooks said. I said, ‘If it’s for me, it will be.’ And I’m so grateful—I’ve said that word a million times, but I am—that my will lined up with God’s, and here I am.”
Here she is indeed. The actress will be prepping for her Broadway debut while filming season three of OITNB, but she wants to embrace her overflowing schedule and bring some of her own resilience to the role of Sofia.
“That’s the biggest thing I took out of getting this role—finding your inner strength,” she said. “When you’re in a career where you hear so many ‘no’s,’ you have to figure that out. You have to find that inner strength within yourself. And that’s why [Sofia] means so much. She’s such a bold woman, such a goddess, such a stoic character, and I’m excited to take this journey.”
Previews for The Color Purple begin November 9, opening night is December 10. Tickets go on sale for the general public July 2.