On the afternoon of June 5, dozens of Black women who work on and off Broadway gathered at the St. Cloud Rooftop to celebrate the 2023 Black Women on Broadway honorees — and each other.
Co-founded by Danielle Brooks, Amber Iman and Jocelyn Bioh, Black Women on Broadway stems from an Instagram account the trio launched in June 2020 during the pandemic. The trio utilized the social media platform to share photos and videos of Black performers and then began organizing free virtual events for that community. Then they transcended the platform with the inaugural Black Women on Broadway Awards, which were held on June 6, 2022, and honored Lynn Nottage, Qween Jean and Kara Young.
This year, honorees included NaTasha Yvette Williams, a 2023 Tony nominee for “Some Like It Hot,” who received the Audra McDonald Legacy Award; current “Little Shop of Horrors” star Joy Woods, who took home the Florence Mills Shining Star Award; and veteran wig designer Nikiya Mathis — currently at work on the new musical “Once Upon a One More Time” — who was selected for the Kathy A. Perkins Behind the Curtain Award.
But beyond the honors, the event provided Black women with a chance to support and applaud one another while staking their claim during a busy awards season.
Speaking to Broadway News, co-founder Bioh — who will make her Broadway playwriting debut in fall 2023 with “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding” — shared her excitement over the second year of the awards, and the expansion that the group is experiencing.