Casting Revealed for the World Premiere Musical The Day You Begin at The Kennedy Center | Playbill

Regional News Casting Revealed for the World Premiere Musical The Day You Begin at The Kennedy Center

The work is based on the New York Times-bestselling book by Jacqueline Woodson, a Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence.

Jacqueline Woodson

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has found its full cast and creative team for the world premiere of the commissioned musical The Day You Begin. Based on Kennedy Jacqueline Woodson’s New York Times-bestselling book illustrated by Rafael López, the musical features music and lyrics by Toshi Reagon.

Starring in the cast will be Lucille Lortel winner Carla Duren (Hairspray110 in the Shade) as Angelina, Camilo Linares (Picasso, Tía Julia y el escribidor) as Rigoberto, Ashley D. Nguyen (Dance Nation, Shakespeare in Love) as Min, Noah Virgile (The Royal Family of Broadway) as Sam, and Audrey Hailes (Associate Artistic Director of MBDance) as Ms. Veve.

Woodson penned the book for the musical as well, bringing her picture book about the courage it takes to make new friends to the stage. “I’m so excited to be working with friends to bring this story to the stage. What we’ve created is beyond anything I could have imagined on my own and speaks, yet again, to the power of all of our stories,” said Woodson in a statement.

Charlotte Braithwaite will direct the production, which will feature dramaturgy by Amissa Miller, scenic design by Jian Jung, costume design by Trevor Bowen, lighting design by Tuce Yasak, sound design by Nick Hernandez, puppet design by Emma Wiseman, projection design by Attilio Rigotti, props by Sam Bay, and hair and makeup by Priscilla Bruce. Casting is by Danica Rodriguez. Hope Villanueva will be production stage manager, and Sunder Ganglani will serve as assistant director.

In 2023, The Day You Begin will go on tour.

For tickets and more information, visit


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