Vanessa Williams Talks Creation Of Black Theatre United With Frank DiLella


On the latest episode of Show & Tell with Frank DiLella, Vanessa Williams joins the podcast to talk about the creation of Black Theatre United, which is a coalition comprised of performers, directors, writers, producers, musicians and creative professionals that came together through the call for social justice and change in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery last summer. Black Theatre United recently released a new single and music video titled "Stand For Change" and features many members of the non-profit organization. “Stand for Change,” tis a partnership with the Republic Records Action Committee (R2AC) and the incredibly powerful and emotional song is brought to life by 13 acclaimed and award-winning veterans of the Broadway stage, and features BTU founding members Vanessa Williams, Billy Porter, Audra McDonald, Darius de Haas, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lillias White, Allyson Tucker, Michael McElroy, NaTasha Yvette Williams, LaChanze, Wendell Pierce, and Capathia Jenkins. Created as the theme song for BTU, 100% of net proceeds from the sale of the record will support the ongoing social justice efforts of the organization.

“Stand for Change” was written by NYU professors Dave Schroeder (Director of MPAP) and Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer Phil Galdston (Director of Songwriting), and produced by Galdston, and Swagg R’Celious. The video is produced by HunterPark Productions partners Bethanie Schwartz and Lauren Tuttman in collaboration with producer Liz Curtis, directed by filmmaker Michael Cooke, and edited by Zeus Sepulveda. The song and video unite the shared racial equity and social justice missions of BTU to Unify, Advocate and Educate, andR2AC’smission of Social Responsibility and Sustained Leadership. The partnership aims to not only call out and challenge racial inequity and inclusion for Black artists and behind-the scenes talent in the Broadway theater industry, but to galvanize communities to stand up for them throughout the country.

Frank and Vanessa also chat about her Broadway and theatre career, what changes she would like to see be made in the Broadway community and what she is looking forward to post pandemic.

Listen to the full episode in the player above.

Photo: Getty Image