On October 21, Deadline announced the creation of The Second Wave, a six-episode pandemic-themed drama from The Good Fight and Evil creators Robert & Michelle King.Starring Audra McDonald, Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black), and Steven Pasquale (The Comey Rule), the series follows neighbors, Rachel (McDonald) and Lily (Schilling), as they navigate life in quarantine during a deadly second wave outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in New York City. Co-produced by CBS and Spectrum Originals, The Second Wave is expected to debut on Spectrum on Demand later this year. Read more about the show on Deadline.
On October 23, Audra McDonald guest stars on Disney Junior’s Emmy and BAFTA Award-nominated animated series Vampirina. Stacked with a roster of stars from screen and stage, Vampirina follows the story of a vampire family adjusting to life after a move from Transylvania to Pennsylvania. In an episode titled “Vee and the Family Stone,” Audra portrays a world-famous fashion designer named Medusa. Taken by the family’s suburban flare, Medusa realizes in the end that the best fashion trend is simply being yourself. Described by Disney as, “a blend of spooky fun, heartfelt storytelling and Broadway-caliber music,” audiences can enjoy season 3 of Vampirina on DisneyNow.
On September 11, Audra McDonald appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss a variety of topics including her upcoming role in the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect and Black Theatre United’s work to battle systemic racism in both the theater industry and the nation. Speaking with CBS’s Gayle King and Anthony Mason, Audra covered the importance of being counted in the census and Black and brown representation across the theater industry. Audra also discussed her upcoming role as Barbara Franklin in the upcoming movie Respect, and even sang a few lines from one of her favorite Aretha Franklin songs, “Until You Come Back to Me.”
On July 9, Audra McDonald joins Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, in conversation for Black Theatre United‘s event “Activating Black Artists & Allies for Racial Justice.” BTU invites members and allies to participate in this Virtual Town Hall, which aims to harness the power of the collective voice in an effort to enact change. This live-streamed event begins at 6:30 pm ET, is free to attend. Click here to register.
On June 26, Audra appeared on PBS NewsHour in a segment calling for racial equality on Broadway.
Audra recently won “Best Actor in a Play on Broadway” in the inaugural Antonyo Awards for her role in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. Of the Awards Audra tells PBS that there’s a desire and want to “be together and celebrate in any way that we can…we can celebrate and we can rally to make change.”
PBS also highlighted Black Theatre United, an organization in which Audra is a founding member. Describing the mission of BTU, Audra notes, “there’s not a lot of black stage managers, in wardrobe, on the crew, in casting offices…so many of us are oftentimes the only one in the room… [we need] to give ourselves a greater voice and then at the same time concentrate on what we can do to change the theatrical landscape.”