“Soul Train the Musical,” a “labor of love” inspired by the original series that celebrated and spotlighted Black culture and music, is slated to debut in 2021 in celebration of the long-running series’ 50th anniversary, an announcement on Instagram read.
The series was created by Don Cornelius, who served as a host of the groundbreaking nationally syndicated television dance show. It premiered in 1971 and left the air in 2006. Cornelius died in 2012.
Dominique Morisseau, a Tony-nominated playwright who is writing the script for the musical, told The New York Times in an article published Monday that she believes “‘Soul Train’ is the story between Don Cornelius and the dancers that built that show.”
“I thought it would be so interesting to tell the story of the dancers and Don, in connection and in contrast and in contradiction and in conflict with each other,” she continued.
Camille A. Brown, a Tony-nominated choreographer, will choreograph and Apollo Theatre executive producer Kamilah Forbes will direct.
The Roots’ famous drummer Questlove, whose real name is Ahmir Thompson, serves as an executive producer of the project. Cornelius’ son, Tony Cornelius, is also an executive producer, among other producers.
Questlove celebrated the announcement on Instagram on Monday, writing he felt “extremely proud” to have joined the project.
“Tryna make dreams come true every day of my life,” he wrote. “Y’all know I bleed @soultrain so this move should surprise none of y’all.”
Morisseau told the Times that what excites her about the musical is “the way that we can make this an explosion, celebrating the origins of dance culture and the Black cultural experience.”