The Color Purple Brings New Actors and Director to CenterStage

CenterStage at the JCC is proud to continue its outstanding 2013/14 season with the local premier of the Broadway hit musical The Color Purple, a story of redemption and love, March 20-April 6 in the Linker Auditorium, 3600 Dutchmans Lane.

Nominated for eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, The Color Purple opened in 2005 at the Broadway Theatre where it ran for more than two years. It’s based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the moving film by Steven Spielberg.

It’s the unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who finds the strength to triumph over adversity, and discover her unique voice in the world. With a joyous Grammy-nominated score featuring gospel, jazz, pop and the blues, The Color Purple is about hope and the healing power of love.

Rush Trowel, a Louisville-based actor, director and theater instructor, is directing the show. Trowel has extensive experience in the entertainment industry, having produced and directed more than 50 stage productions nationwide as well as working administratively for Broadway in New York City. Rush’s latest endeavor was the portrayal of King Asherdan in JONAH at Sight & Sound Theatre in Pennsylvania. He also played Scar in a 13-month run of The Festival of the Lion King at Hong Kong Disneyland in Hong Kong, China. Rush has given many Performing Arts Workshops for local students, and is currently directing Peter Rabbit for CenterStage’s Acting Out and was the voice of the plant in Centerstage’s Little Shop of Horrors. John Leffert, artistic director for CenterStage, said he’s proud that The Color Purple is an entirely African American cast.

“We think it’s important to diversify our audience and acting company,” he said.

The production holds true to its source material, but there are real differences, Leffert said.

The music, for example, has won tremendous critical acclaim. The cast that’s been chosen carries it off magnificently, he said.

“When they’re singing, your whole body vibrates, their voices are so big,” said Lenae Price, CenterStage development and outreach director.

Call 502-238-2709 or visit to reserve tickets.

Show Dates & Times
Thurs., March 20    7:30 p.m.
Sat., Mrach 22    7:30 p.m.
Sun., March 23    2 p.m.
Thurs., March 27    7:30 p.m.
Sat., March 29    7:30 p.m.
Sun., March 30    2 p.m.
Mon., March 31    7:30 p.m.
Thurs., April 3    7:30 p.m.
Sat., April 5    7:30 p.m.
Sun., April 6    2 p.m.

For tickets, visit or call 502-459-0660. Tickets cost $18 in advance or $20 at the door. JCC Members get a $4 discount for the 7:30 p.m. performance on Thursday, April 3.

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