StageArt’s much anticipated production of The Color Purple is one step closer to the stage today, with casting for the musical announced this morning.
Featuring an entirely Australian cast, The Color Purple spans three continents and four decades, chronicling the experiences of Celie, a battered and downtrodden African-American woman. In this production, the role of Celie will be played by Jayme-Lee Hanekom (Disney’s The Lion King, In The Heights).
Joining Hanekom will be Thando Sikwila (The Voice, Dreamgirls) as Shug Avery; Anna Francesca Armenia (In The Heights, Dreamgirls) as Nettie; Kendrew A. Heriveaux (Requiem and Messiah New York) as Mister, Iopu Auva’a (Hair, Dreamgirls) as Harpo and Vanessa Menjivar (Dreamgirls) as Sofia, the role that propelled Oprah Winfrey to stardom in Steven Spielberg’s film adaption.
Also cast are Zenya Carmellotti as Squeak, Noelani Petero as Doris/Church Soloist, Anisha Senaratne as Jarene, Sasha Hennequin as Darlene, Joti Gore as Preacher, Augestine Tchantcho as Pa/Ole Mister, Guillaume Gentil as Grady, Gideon Wilonja as Adam, and Tsungirai Wachenuka as Olivia. Rounding out the cast will be off stage vocalists, Gina Mets, Casey Withoos, Aaron Taylor and Benjaman Samuel.
Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestselling novel and Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film, The Color Purple is currently being revived in a multiple Tony Award winning production on Broadway. Robbie Carmellotti (Hair, Saturday Night Fever), will direct StageArt’s season, ensuring that Celie’s inspiring saga, a testament to the healing power of love and faith, will finally be seen by Melbourne audiences. Presenting The Color Purple will continue StageArt’s passion for providing a platform for culturally diverse performers and works on the Australian stage.
StageArt’s production of The Color Purple can be seen beginning mid-October at Chapel off Chapel. Further information including ticketing can be found here.