Black Women on Broadway Awards return in June

Written by on May 3, 2023

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The Black Women on Broadway Awards return this summer after last year’s successful in-person launch, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The awards show was launched in June 2020 by actresses Danielle Brooks, Amber Iman, and Jocelyn Bioh. The 2023 BWOB Awards celebrate Black women’s achievements in the New York theater industry — onstage and off-Broadway. The ceremony will be held at the Knickerbocker Hotel on June 5.

2022 Black Women On Broadway Awards Celebration
Amber Iman, Jocelyn Bioh, and Danielle Brooks attend the 2022 Black Women on Broadway Awards celebration at Empire Hotel Rooftop on June 6, 2022, in New York City. (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images)

This year’s honorees include “Some Like It Hot” star Natasha Yvette Williams, recipient of the Audra McDonald Legacy Award, Joy Woods of “Six the Musical” will receive the Florence Mills Shining Star Award, and wig designer Nikiya Mathis will be honored with the Kathy A. Perkins Behind The Curtain Award, according to The Reporter.

The 2023 honorees were selected to spotlight Black women in live theater, as were the inaugural recipients. The 2022 awards honored Lynn Nottage, Qween Jean, and Kara Young.

“We saw with our first-year celebration how necessary it was, how people left in tears and were so elated to be in a space where they didn’t have to be anything other than the Black women they are,” Brooks told The Reporter about bringing the BWOB Awards back for another year.

Brooks said the goal of this year’s awards show is to put the spotlight on deserving Black women who’ve been “leading the way for us for a while” but haven’t always “been seen.”

“We want all of us to be in the space together and hold space together,” Brooks told The Reporter, noting that the BWOB Awards currently lack funding to invite every Black woman “involved on the Broadway scene.”

Sponsors for the inaugural BWOB awards included Morgan Stanley, Mark Gordon Pictures, the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, per The Reporter.

It is the goal of the BWOB awards to bring together 50% talent and 50% of the players behind-the-scenes to honor the movers and shakers at every level in the production process, according to Brooks.

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