‘P-Valley’: Only One Actor Played Their Character in the Original Play
Last year, viewers fell in love with the quirky, vibrant and colorful characters on Starz’s P-Valley. Many fans do not even realize that one of the characters in the strip club drama series was actually in creator Katori Hall’s original play.
‘P-Valley’ was one of the biggest shows of 2020 and it is coming back for season 2
Based on Hall’s play, P*ssy Valley, P-Valley revolves around the denizens of a Mississippi town and the works, patrons, and everyone else associated with the local strip club. The series stars Brandee Evans, Nicco Annan, Shannon Thornton, Elarica Johnson, Skyler Joy, J. Alphonse Nicholson, Parker Sawyers, Harriet D. Foy, Tyler Lepley and Dan J. Johnson.
Earlier this year, it announced that Hall has signed a first-look deal with Lionsgate Television to develop new projects at the studio. The dead includes a fund that will be created to support Black playwrights.
“Adapting my play from the stage to the screen was a decade-long odyssey, and I’m so grateful that the journey led me to a studio that understands the value of complex storytelling centered on marginalized people of color,” said Hall in a statement at the time. “I’m thrilled about this partnership with Lionsgate and I look forward to continuing to tell bold, impactful stories with the ability to reach a rich, diverse, global audience.”
The fund will commission Black playwrights who may be. struggling due to how the pandemic hit the theatre community. She will also mentor the playwrights that are selected.
“In this unprecedented moment, Black playwrights are particularly struggling–so much so that I fear some will leave the artform forever,” she continued. “This would undoubtedly be a major loss. Without theater, there would be no me. In fact, there would be no P-Valley. That’s why I’ve partnered with Lionsgate on this initiative to help ensure that American Theater is more inclusive and diverse when the curtain rises again.”
Nicco Annan was Uncle Clifford in the stage play and plays her in the hit Starz series
Annan has been playing Uncle Clifford, who goes by she/her pronouns, for years and has essentially been a part of Katori Hall’s journey with the project from the start.
“This has been a wonderful, amazing ride. It’s like Six Flags times a million,” Annan said in an interview with Essence around when the show first premiered. “It has been everything to originate a character like this, but to also still fight for her and to learn who she is through the process.”
Despite the fact he had portrayed the character for years Annan had to audition, and went in to the audition with something to prove. “Even though I had originated this role, I did not go into my audition thinking that I had it. I wasn’t even thinking on a competition level. I thought about ‘let me just get it true,’” he said. “I wanted people to see who she was because of all the care that I had in crafting her over that period of time, from workshops and things like that. I cared so much about how she was seen.”
Both Nicco Annan and Katori Hall had a hand in the character’s further development
Both Hall and Annan contributed to the character’s development as time went by, including how Annan came to understand the character using the preferred pronouns she/her, something that was Hall’s idea.
“And even as for myself, to even understand and come to know she preferred the pronoun she,” Annan explained. “I didn’t know that at first. That was something that kind of came about in the development of the character and conversations and talking with Katori [Hall]. Her idea was really about ‘what is it like to be a person who embraces all of their masculinity and all of their femininity without question or apology and what could that be like?’”
It is unclear when P-Valley’s second season will premiere due to production restrictions amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.