54 min

Schele Williams Is the First Black Woman to Direct a Broadway Musical in 40+ Years Why I‘ll Never Make It

    • Performing Arts

The 2024 Tony Awards were certainly a night to remember, celebrating a very full Broadway season filled with remarkable performances and groundbreaking productions. Yet amidst the accolades and celebrations, some highly anticipated shows were left without a single nomination. One of these was The Wiz, a revival production directed by the wonderful Schele Williams. But despite the lack of Tony recognition, Williams' work on The Wiz has made its mark on Broadway this year with near capacity crowds at every performance and averaging more than $1.4 million dollars each week since it opened back in April. But Schele wasn’t content with just one Broadway show this season, she was also part of the directing team for The Notebook musical.
However, her illustrious career actually began as an actress, performing in iconic Broadway productions such as Rent and Aida, and eventually transitioned to directing. Her journey from celebrated performer to visionary director has been marked by perseverance and a commitment to amplifying diverse voices. As the first Black woman to direct a musical on Broadway in more than 40 years, she hopes her work this year will inspire kids of all backgrounds to follow their dreams. Here are her three stories:

Schele shares her journey from being a child prodigy drummer to choosing a path in musical theater (Her father is famed drummer James "Diamond" Williams of the Ohio Players).

We delve into her memories of seeing The Wiz as a child and the profound effect it has had on her, ultimately leading to her directing its first Broadway revival.

We discuss the personal trials she faced as her mother struggles with Alzheimer's and how it influenced her decision to co-direct The Notebook with her longtime friend and collaborator Michael Greif.

So listen as we explore the remarkable career of Schele Williams and the stories that shaped her path in the world of theater.
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Subscribe to get early and ad-free access to the full conversation with each guest, which includes the auditions stories that are only available to subscribers.

You can also donate to WINMI and help further podcast production with a one-time or ongoing contribution.

If you'd like to support WINMI but have limited funds to do so, then contact me directly for reduced-price or even free access to the bonus content.


Follow WINMI: Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Why I’ll Never Make It is an award-winning, Top Theater Podcast with actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones and is a production of WINMI Media. A snippet of "I Want to Be Free" by the Ohio Players was used to highlight James "Diamond" Williams on drums. Background music is by John Bartmann and Blue Dot Sessions and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

The 2024 Tony Awards were certainly a night to remember, celebrating a very full Broadway season filled with remarkable performances and groundbreaking productions. Yet amidst the accolades and celebrations, some highly anticipated shows were left without a single nomination. One of these was The Wiz, a revival production directed by the wonderful Schele Williams. But despite the lack of Tony recognition, Williams' work on The Wiz has made its mark on Broadway this year with near capacity crowds at every performance and averaging more than $1.4 million dollars each week since it opened back in April. But Schele wasn’t content with just one Broadway show this season, she was also part of the directing team for The Notebook musical.
However, her illustrious career actually began as an actress, performing in iconic Broadway productions such as Rent and Aida, and eventually transitioned to directing. Her journey from celebrated performer to visionary director has been marked by perseverance and a commitment to amplifying diverse voices. As the first Black woman to direct a musical on Broadway in more than 40 years, she hopes her work this year will inspire kids of all backgrounds to follow their dreams. Here are her three stories:

Schele shares her journey from being a child prodigy drummer to choosing a path in musical theater (Her father is famed drummer James "Diamond" Williams of the Ohio Players).

We delve into her memories of seeing The Wiz as a child and the profound effect it has had on her, ultimately leading to her directing its first Broadway revival.

We discuss the personal trials she faced as her mother struggles with Alzheimer's and how it influenced her decision to co-direct The Notebook with her longtime friend and collaborator Michael Greif.

So listen as we explore the remarkable career of Schele Williams and the stories that shaped her path in the world of theater.
----------


Subscribe to get early and ad-free access to the full conversation with each guest, which includes the auditions stories that are only available to subscribers.

You can also donate to WINMI and help further podcast production with a one-time or ongoing contribution.

If you'd like to support WINMI but have limited funds to do so, then contact me directly for reduced-price or even free access to the bonus content.


Follow WINMI: Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Why I’ll Never Make It is an award-winning, Top Theater Podcast with actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones and is a production of WINMI Media. A snippet of "I Want to Be Free" by the Ohio Players was used to highlight James "Diamond" Williams on drums. Background music is by John Bartmann and Blue Dot Sessions and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

54 min