The Black Theatre Coalition Will Debut ‘Upon These Shoulders’ to Spotlight Black Creatives This Week

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The event will feature award-winning performers like Whoopi Goldberg and Wynton Marsalis.

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On Saturday, February 27, the Black Theatre Coalition (BTC) will present Upon These Shoulders, a show that tells the story of past and present Black creative artists. The show celebrates not only Black creativity over the last 150 years, but turns the spotlight on Black artists—specifically Black theatrical talent—shaping the future of Broadway. Upon These Shoulders, which will livestream via On The Stage, will showcase award-winning performers like Whoopi Goldberg and Tituss Burgess. It’s presented by the Black Theatre Coalition in collaboration with Playbill, Inc. and sponsored by American Express, among other luxury brands.

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Upon These Shoulders by Black Theatre Coalition
Courtesy American Express

Upon These Shoulders isn’t a scripted play or musical, it’s a one-night-only performance amplifying Black artistic talent. The Black Theatre Coalition advocates for equity in the arts, and this show features allies (including the mayors of D.C. and Chicago) alongside musicians like jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, actors like André De Shields, and Broadway stars like dancer Savion Glover.

Tickets for the BTC production of Upon These Shoulders, available at, will benefit their Fellowship Initiative, funding 42 paid fellowships for Black creatives working in management, design, creative, casting, PR, marketing, and advertising on Broadway. BTC’s mission is to eliminate the “illusion of inclusion” by charting a sustainable solution for integrating Black talent into every facet of Broadway. BTC pointed out that, when Broadway closed on March 12, 2020, there were no Black general managers. Through their work, when Broadway reopens, there will be six Black GMs.

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Because American Express is a prominent sponsor of BTC and the upcoming production of Upon These Shoulders, they’re offering an exclusive ticket package, which includes a ticket to the virtual concert, as well as a pre-filmed virtual concert and entry to the post-show event. The (virtual) post-show gathering will feature Tony Award nominees like Norm Lewis and Brandon Victor Dixon, giving Amex Card Members insider access to the world of Broadway.