When Audra McDonald read Adrienne Kennedy’s Ohio State Murders for the first time, her “gut was on the floor.” The six-time Tony-winning actress participated in a Zoom pandemic production of Kennedy’s seminal work, based on her own experience at the university, and she was stunned by the material. “My heart was on the floor. My brain was exploding,” McDonald says of the experience. “For days afterwards, I just kept thinking about the fact that I got to say those words. And I wanted to know more...
Ohio State Murders starring Audra McDonald on Broadway Tickets
Ohio State Murders starring Audra McDonald on Broadway Information
With a 65-year long career as a playwright under her belt, Adrienne Kennedy finally makes her Broadway debut with Ohio State Murders in New York. Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald stars in the production, directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon. Get Ohio State Murders tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
Ohio State Murders is a play about a fictional Black writer, Suzanne Alexander, who goes to deliver a talk about the violence in her writing at Ohio State University. When she arrives, she is met with a sinister mystery, one that reveals racism to be an antagonist in and of itself. Through the work, Kennedy explores the extent of just how destructive of a force racism is in the United States. Kennedy is known for her distinctive surrealist style, writing plays that lack a clear plot and instead symbolically portray historical and mythical figures to explore the Black experience. However, Ohio State Murders is less explicitly surreal, though the play still avoids a clear-cut, linear narrative and focuses on Suzanne's "process of turning memory into meaning," as Alisa Solomon, a Columbia University professor, wrote in the foreword to a collection of some of Kennedy's plays.
Kennedy is also known for writing "autobiographically inspired" work, and Ohio State Murders is no exception. In some ways, Suzanne Alexander and her experiences reflect Kennedy, herself a 1931 graduate of Ohio State University. In fact, Ohio State Murders is one of four plays that centers on the character. She Talks to Beethoven, The Film Club (a monologue), and The Dramatic Circle (a radio drama) are known, together with Ohio State Murders, as "the Alexander plays" after their common main character. Beethoven was published in 1989, and the rest came out in 1992. Kennedy also wrote a letter from Suzanne Alexander's perspective, "Letter to My Students on My Sixty-First Birthday by Suzanne Alexander," in 1992.
Ohio State Murders and the Alexander plays are just a small portion of Kennedy's theatrical canon. She has written three Obie Award-winning plays: her most famous work, Funnyhouse of a Negro, won the 1964 Obie for Distinguished Play, and June and Jean in Concert and Sleep Deprivation Chamber both won the Best New American Play Obie Award in 1996. Some of her other works include The Owl Answers, A Rat's Mass, and The Lennon Play, among many others. All this work led to Kennedy being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Obie Awards and an induction into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2018.
Get tickets to Ohio State Murders on Broadway now.
Audra McDonald photo credit: Allison Michael Orenstein
Ohio State Murders is an unusual look at the destructiveness of racism in the United States. When Suzanne Alexander, a fictional Black writer, returns to Ohio State University to talk about the violence in her writing, a dark mystery unravels.
November 11th, 2022
February 12th, 2023
February 12th, 2023
November 11th, 2022
James Earl Jones Theatre
Children under 4 are not permitted in the theatre.
Cast and creative
By: Adrienne Kennedy
Director: Kenny Leon
Producer: Jeffrey Richards, Rebecca Gold, Jayne Baron Sherman, Irene Gandy
Cast list: Audra McDonald (as Suzanne Alexander), Bryce Pinkham (as Robert Hampshire), Lizan Mitchell (as Mrs. Tyler/Miss Dawson/Aunt Lou), Mister Fitzgerald, Abigail Stephenson, Brett Diggs, Brooke Gardner, Christina Pedersen, Gayle Samuels
Lighting: Allen Lee Hughes
Sound: Justin Ellington
Design: Beowulf Boritt
Costume: Dede Ayite
Other info: Projection design by Jeff Sugg
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Ohio State Murders will offer rush and lottery tickets, the show announced ahead of its first Broadway performance tonight. The play by Adrienne Kennedy is the first show to reopen the newly renovated and renamed James Earl Jones Theatre; its official opening night is December 8. Ohio State Murders offers a digital lottery for $54 tickets. The lottery is open for entries between midnight and 3 p.m. the day before each performance; winners are drawn at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Winners can purchase up to...
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Adrienne Kennedy's 1992 play Ohio State Murders will debut on Broadway, starring six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald. Performance dates, a venue, and additional casting for the production have yet to be announced.McDonald will play Suzanne Alexander, a fictional Black writer who in some ways reflects the playwright herself. Alexander returns to Ohio State University to discuss the violence she includes in her writing, and a sinister mystery unravels. Kennedy's work is a look at the...