Brittney Johnson made her debut as Glinda in “Wicked” on Broadway in New York Thursday night and in the process, the actress broke down barriers and made history.
“Simply Grateful. See you at 7! #BlackGlinda,” the actress posted to Instagram last night.
Johnson made history in the famed musical as the first black actress to star as the legendary “Good Witch” in an English version of the show.
The actress tells ABC News in a statement, “My heart is bursting with gratitude. God is so good! I am so humbled to be the first Black Glinda and honored to fulfill the dreams and hopes of so many! I feel like my feet have yet to touch down.”
She continued, “The importance of this moment in history is only amplified by the message of this beautiful show: Love, friendship, and kindness are stronger than the fear of “otherness.” Love can break down barriers to change the world. I’m so grateful to the Wicked team for trusting me to tell this story. My hope and prayer is that people see my story and have faith that they can achieve their dreams too. Nothing is impossible! And no dream is too big.”
“Wicked” just celebrated 15 years on Broadway in 2018 and Glinda is the role that actress Kristin Chenoweth took on first and put a modern take on. Previously, Glinda made her first appearance in film in “The Wizard of Oz.”
An official Broadway photographer captured a beautiful shot of Johnson about to take the stage, captioning the pic, “Just photographed Brittney Johnson, the first Glinda of color, as she prepares to go on in ‘Wicked’ for the first time.”
Just photographed Brittney Johnson, the first Glinda of color, as she prepares to go on in Wicked for the first time. pic.twitter.com/gbO4BWcVj9
— The Dressing Room Project (@TDRPBway) January 11, 2019
Fellow actors and Broadway fans were overjoyed with this sign of progress and growth in the arts.
— Mark MacKillop (@mark_mackillop) January 11, 2019
— ChristianDanteWhite (@dantechristian) January 11, 2019
“YES MAAM. WE DID IT. WE GOT THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN GLINDA,” one fan who attended the show last night wrote.
YES MAAM. WE DID IT. WE GOT THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN GLINDA pic.twitter.com/QlDECgPVRu
— liv loves brittney johnson (@bwayliv) January 11, 2019
It was an iconic night for sure and one that fans voiced really shows how much representation matters.
— cam (@hardknocks15) January 11, 2019
In June, Johnson announced she was joining the show with an inspiring quote.
“I am a member of the fearless and fabulous Ensemble, and I understudy GLINDA! I cannot begin to explain what it feels like to even be able to write those words,” she wrote. “The magnitude of this moment in history continues to sneak up on me in waves of gratitude and I am truly at a loss for words. I am just so honored, grateful, and I feel so blessed. And EXCITED! God is so good!”
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I am beyond humbled and elated to announce that I am joining the Broadway Company of Wicked! I am a member of the fearless and fabulous Ensemble, and I understudy GLINDA! I cannot begin to explain what it feels like to even be able to write those words. The magnitude of this moment in history continues to sneak up on me in waves of gratitude and I am truly at a loss for words. I am just so honored, grateful, and I feel so blessed. And EXCITED! God is so good! This is 15 year old me's (un)attainable dream coming true! I feel like I'm having an out of body experience, and I'm so excited to share this blessing with all of you, spread this hope around, and encourage all of your dreams! So this is for you, yes you, with the dream, reading this. Keep dreaming! Dream as big as your heart can imagine, Especially if your mind thinks it's unattainable! Keep your faith! Feed your passions! Work hard! Share in the joy of others! And Never EVER give up on yourself. Stay encouraged! Be blessed! Live on purpose! I cant wait to see what you do!! 📸: @cdpnyc (thank you 😭🤗💚)
SOURCE: Good Morning America – Michael Rothman