Reports from The New York Times reveal that Oprah Winfrey is in talks to make her Broadway debut in a revival of Marsha Norman’s Night, Mother. Winfrey would star opposite five time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, though nothing has been officially confirmed and requests for comments on the report from representatives of Ms. Winfrey and Ms. McDonald were declined.
Lead producer Scott Sanders had this to share in a statement, “Oprah has had a longstanding desire to act on Broadway. She understands how unique and challenging performing live on stage will be as an actress. She and I have been looking at a number of plays and roles in order to find material and a character that truly resonate with her. We’ve recently read something that we’re both excited about but are not yet ready to officially announce the specifics.”
It is said that Winfrey and McDonald read the play last year during a visit to Sander’s apartment. Mr. Wolfe was present at the reading in which “all involved were happy with the results.” The production is scheduled to open sometime during the 2015-16 season, but timing is based upon the availability of those involved.
Night, Mother tackles the serious subject of suicide in which Winfrey would portray a mother who desperately tries to prevent her daughter from killing herself. The production first opened on Broadway in 1983. After running for one year, the show received Tony nominations for best play and best actress for its stars, Anne Pitoniak and Kathy Bates. A 2004 revival starred Brenda Blethyn and Edie Falco.
Winfrey was most recently seen in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. She is now working on a Broadway revival of The Color Purple alongside Scott Sanders. The pair produced the original Broadway production in 2005 which featured a book by Marsha Norman. McDonald was most recently seen in NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound of Music. Other recent work by the star includes an appearance in 2004’s A Raisin in the Sun and her most recent Broadway role as Bess in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.