Academy Award-winning actor, filmmaker, activist and human-rights trailblazer Sidney Poitier will be the subject of a new Broadway play entitled SIDNEY. Produced by Ron Gillyard (Born for This, Mr. Soul), the play is based on the book The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography, which spent several weeks on The New York Times' list of best sellers. Casting, creative team and production timeline will be announced at a later date
SIDNEY dramatizes Mr. Poitier's life, from his upbringing on Cat Island in the Bahamas to his rise to become America's most revered actor and activist. With his unique career, Sidney Poitier helped change many racial attitudes that had persisted in this country for centuries. He built the bridges and opened the doors for countless artists in succeeding generations. He is an actor who stood for hope, for excellence, and who has given happiness to millions of people around the world.
Paying tribute to Sidney Poitier in 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "He is a man of great depth, a man of great social concern, a man who is dedicated to human rights and freedom."
The play explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, pride and humility and the price for artistic integrity. Poitier has inspired many artists in multiple fields including encouraging Alice Childress to begin writing when they were both members at American Negro Theatre.
Playwright Charles Randoph-Wright says, "The first time I met Sidney Poitier was decades ago when he saw a show I co-wrote and directed in Los Angeles. We went to dinner and I literally could not speak. He said to me, 'If in any way I have inspired you, you have more than paid me back with what I saw this evening.' I have held onto those words my entire career. And now to place his astonishing life on stage is the ultimate challenge and the ultimate joy. To have the trust of Mr. Poitier and his family is one of the greatest gifts I have been given - what an honor to get to dramatize the true measure of this monumental man. I look forward to the world discovering the astounding person that is behind one of our most prodigious heroes, a man who continues to inspire."
Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson says, "Sir Sidney Poitier is clearly one of the greatest actors in the history of cinema. His integrity and standard of excellence set the bar for generations to come. It is an honor to be a part of celebrating the incomparable Sidney Poitier's monumental career in this play but also the man and his extraordinary life."