“Moonlight” Writer To Star As A Presidential Drag Queen

Tarell Alvin McCraney speaks to the Hollywood Reporter about the “David Makes Man” / Screenshot via YouTube @HollywoodReporter

The cast for the new Steppenwolf Theatre play MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT has been announced, according to Perform Ink.

The new work is based on the true life story about Chicago-based drag queen Ms. Joan Jett Blakk, who ran for president in the 1990s.

The play’s synopsis goes as follows:

“Meet Ms. Joan Jett Blakk as she sets off on her journey to run for President of the United States. Inspired by the true story of America’s first black drag queen presidential candidate, Joan’s story begins in Chicago; it’s 1992 and, with the AIDS crisis at its height, Joan and the newly formed Queer Nation Chicago have big goals in mind. Joan sets off on an exhilarating and dangerous journey to drag queer politics out of the closet and into a future where ALL are visible and ALL have a place at the table.”


The play was conceived by Steppenwolf ensemble member Tina Landau. Fellow ensemble member, Tarell Alvin McCraney, is starring in the play as Ms. Joan Jett Blakk.  It has been a team effort as Tina Landau and Tarell Alvin McCraney are co-writing the play.

McCraney has been having a fantastic few years after his unpublished play was adapted into Oscar-Winning Film Moonlight. He now has several projects in the works such as his tv drama on OWN titled David Makes Man. His recent successful run of Choir Boy on Broadway. And his work as Chair of Playwriting at the Yale School of Drama.

On top of co-writing the script for Ms. Blakk, McCraney will be starring in the titular role. He will be joined by Patrick Andrews, Molly Brennan, Daniel Kyri, Jon Hudson Odom and Sawyer Smith.

MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT runs May 23 through July 14. If you want to find more information, and order tickets, head to steppenwolf.org.

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