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Broadway-Aimed Musical GRACE Continues Development in Orlando

There will be a two-week workshop to keep developing new ideas.

By: May. 26, 2023
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Grace, a new musical aiming to land on Broadway or a big national tour, has gone back to development at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts after a first run of public performances last year. The arts center announced it hosted the musical’s creative team, including Nolan Williams, Jr. (music, lyrics and co-book writer) Nikkole Salter (co-book writer), and Robert Barry Fleming (director and choreographer), for a two-week work session that included a cast of local actors working alongside performers from New York, Philadelphia, and D.C. The arts center supported all aspects of the workshop in keeping with its mission to be a creative and supportive venue for developing new productions that aspire to tour the country and the world. 

“This project has a bright future, and I’m really thrilled to bring Grace to the Dr. Phillips Center to pursue new ideas,” said Nolan Williams Jr., Grace’s award-winning creator, producer, composer, lyricist and book co-writer. “The time we are spending here will set the trajectory for the future of this project. Our goal is to hone the book (the story) based on what our team learned from the premiere run in D.C. We're developing our characters more, especially their relationships with each other, changing some of the music, and exploring further the themes of culture and family values, which are at the heart of Grace.” 

Through about two dozen solo and ensemble numbers, Grace captures a day in the life of South Philly’s Minton family. The Mintons have a long connection with African American food traditions through their restaurant, which they've owned and run for more than 100 years. On this day, they all come together to mourn the loss of their family matriarch, make preparations for the memorial, and consider the future of the restaurant, whose fate is in question given the impact of gentrification and other business factors.

“Grace is about the celebration of community coming together… to keep moving with resilience. The show really captures that sense of community, family and tradition while doing rigorous, ingenious, extraordinary work. So, it feels apt that we get to do it at Dr. Phillips Center, a place known for innovation and placemaking,” added Robert Barry Fleming. 

The Grace workshop is produced in collaboration with GRACE THE MUSICAL, LLC. For more information, visit


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