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5 minutes with a Tony nominee: ‘Purlie Victorious’’ Hunter Arnold and Jeffrey Richards

The producing duo reflects on the mounting the revival of Ossie Davis’ play and getting audiences back to Broadway.

(L-R) Hunter Arnold and Jeffrey Richards attend the 77th Annual Tony Awards Meet the Nominees Press Event at Sofitel New York on May 02, 2024, in New York City. (Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Producer Jeffrey Richards grew up around the theater; his mother was a company manager. Many of his childhood experiences inform his work today — and that goes for the 2023 revival of Ossie Davis’ “Purlie Victorious.” (You’ll have to listen to the full interview to get the details.)

Richards, who had long thought about reviving the comedy, teamed up with producer Hunter Arnold, who read “Purlie Victorious” in college. The play is now nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Revival.

With their decades of experience producing on the Main Stem, the two shared their motivations to revive the play, their strategy behind bringing audiences to the theater for “Purlie Victorious” and more.

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