davine joy randolph

Da’Vine Joy Randolph

*Making her Broadway debut as Oda Mae Brown in “Ghost: The Musical,” 25 year old Da’Vine Joy Randolph, is making a splash on the Great White Way.

A first-time Tony Award nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, she is also nominated for an Outer Critics Cirle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.  Earning her Master’s Degree from the Yale School of Drama in 2011, the Philadelphia native obtained her undergraduate degree from Temple University.  Randolph first joined “Ghost: The Musical” on London’s West End as a replacement for Sharon D. Clarke before coming to Broadway.

Inside Broadway
Congratulations on your first Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.  When you heard about your nomination, where were you and what was your initial reaction?

Da’Vine Joy Randolph
I was in bed, and woke up to missed calls from my agent and assistant. I was shocked and honored.

Inside Broadway
When did your love for music and theatre begin?

Da’Vine Joy Randolph
My love for music and theatre began at a very young age, when I started singing in church.  Music was a big part of my family—Motown, Boyz II Men were always playing. But I didn’t get involved with theatre until my senior year in college.

Inside Broadway
How did you prepare for the role of Oda Mae Brown?  What are your personal thoughts about the afterlife and supernatural?

Da’Vine Joy Randolph
I heard I got the job five days before I started rehearsal (in London). Since then it’s been very fast paced, but that has helped me keep it fresh and spontaneous. Well, one way I “prepared” was by watching the movie to get off book. My lines are pretty similar to Whoopi Goldberg’s in the film, so I would play it over and over again. I’ve never met a ghost, but I do believe in a spiritual realm. And this show has strongly fortified my spirituality.

Inside Broadway
You began playing the role of Oda Mae Brown in London. What was the theatre experience like in London?  Did you enjoy living there?

Da’Vine Joy Randolph
Being in London was magical.  The London cast was so supportive, and I always felt like I was being taken care of.  And the London audiences were so responsive and giving.  It was such a lovely experience that I wouldn’t be surprised if down the line, it became my second home.

Inside Broadway
Who are your music and theatre influences? Is there one experience or person you can identify as having had the greatest influence on your career? 

Da’Vine Joy Randolph
Musically: Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Maria Callas, Leontyne Price.  Theatrically: James Earl Jones, Meryl Streep, Vanessa Redgrave, Jeremy Irons. Phylicia Rashad has been extremely influential to me.

Inside Broadway
So far, how has living in New York and performing eight shows a week on Broadway changed your life?  What has been one of the most valuable lessons you learned about working on Broadway?

Da’Vine Joy Randolph
Stamina is the big lesson I’ve learned on Broadway. Also, patience, pacing, diligence and resilience, are important too. New York is an amazing, lovely and lively place, and being on Broadway you feel like a movie star. You never get use to people stopping you on the street. It’s amazing experience.

Inside Broadway
What are some of the other things you would like to do in your career?

Da’Vine Joy Randolph
I’d love to do TV, movies, and, one day, record an album.

Inside Broadway
On a day-to-day basis, what inspires you most?

Da’Vine Joy Randolph
The energy from the audience is humbling.  These people are here for a reason, and someone is gonna have an “experience” today.

Inside Broadway
Tell us what’s next for you.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph
The sky’s the limit! I’m young and I’m open to any and all things.

Inside Broadway
Tell us one thing people would be surprised to know about you.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph
I love to cook and one day I would love to have my own cooking show.

See “Ghost The Musical” at the Lunt-Fortanne Theatre, (located at 205 West 46th Street, Times Square), New York, New York.  For more information, please visit:  www.ghostonbroadway.com

See Inside Broadway’s review of “Ghost The Musical”
http://www.eurweb.com/2012/05/inside-broadway-theatre-review-ghost-the-musical-a-magical-experience-for-the-theatre/

Gwendolyn Quinn is veteran media specialist with a career spanning 20 years. She is the founder of the African American Public Relations Collective (AAPRC) and the publisher and editorial director of Global Communicator, an e-publication for public relations, marketing, journalists and communications professionals. She is a contributor to Souls Revealed (Souls of My Sisters/Kensington) and featured in Handle Your Entertainment Business (Grand Central/Warner Publishing). She is a contributor to the forthcoming book, Souls of My Faithful Sisters (Souls of My Sisters/Kensington).  Contact her at [email protected].

gwendolyn quinn

Gwendolyn Quinn