In the News: E. Fay Butler Returns to Fannie in Oregon, Danai Gurira Eyes Return to Wakanda for Black Panther Sequel and Series

Read on for more theatre news you may have missed in today’s headlines.

Danai Gurira Returns to Wakanda Forever
Danai Gurira, actor and Tony-nominated playwright, will return to Wakanda in the Black Panther sequel, Deadline reports. Gurira will reprise her role as Okoye, general of the Dora Milaje, in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, due in theatres July 2022. Writer-director Ryan Coogler also has a five-year development deal with Disney Studios, and it is expected that Gurira will also be involved with the Wakanda series currently in development for Disney+.

E. Fay Butler Opens the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Season With Fannie
Oregon Shakespeare Festival will welcome back in-person audiences July 1 for Cheryl L. West’s Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, starring E. Faye Butler as the Mississippi-born civil and voting rights activist. The production will be staged at OSF’s outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, under the direction of Henry Godinez and music director Felton Offard. Butler, who headlined the show earlier this year at Florida’s Asolo Rep, will star through August 28, when she will be replaced by Greta Oglesby, who will play the role September 1–October 9. A co-commission with the Goodman Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre, Fannie will move to the Goodman in October, then Seattle Rep in early 2022. OSF audiences will also see weekly outdoor concerts throughout the run of Fannie. OSF moves indoors for its first holiday special It’s Christmas, Carol!, written by OSF performers Mark Bedard, Brent Hinkley, and John Tufts. The comedic Scrooge retelling is directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh and runs November 28–January 2, 2022. Ticketing for Fannie and for the outdoor concert series are available at

Launch Into Pride Month With The Lavender Effect’s Virtual Pride Parade
Kicking off Pride month festivities, The Lavender Effect will present a Virtual Pride Parade 3–5 PM ET May 30 on its YouTube channel. The event is hosted by actor, comedian and writer Alec Mapa (M. Butterfly), with celebrity guests including Alexandra Billings, Betty Buckley, Charles Busch, Drew Droege, Kathryn Hahn, Sally Kirkland, Judith Light, Michael Musto, Jason Stuart, Lily Tomlin, Bruce Vilanch, and more to be announced. The Lavender Effect is a nonprofit organization established to advance the future of LGBTQIA+ heritage and culture.