Fresh off the final season of Transparent, transgender actress and activist Alexandra Billings announced that she will be heading to New York’s Gershwin Theatre stage to take on the role of Madame Morrible in Broadway’s Wicked. Billings will replace Tony nominee Nancy Opel in the role beginning January 20, 2020.
As a visible and vocal advocate of transgender rights, and no stranger to charting new territory, this is another first for Billings as this trip to Oz makes her the first openly transgender star to join the Wicked cast. “There’s never been a trans person in this show before,” Billings told Variety. “So all of these kids, and their parents and their grandmothers and their aunts and uncles seeing this show… sometime on the way home, somebody’s going to have to have a conversation. And that’s enormous. Whatever the conversation is, however it turns out, the fact that it’s happening is life-changing.”
Via Instagram Billings shared, “I literally cannot believe my life,” she wrote. “I am truly blessed. And completely shocked.”
Paving the way for other trans actors, Billings became the first openly trans actress to play a trans character on television when she appeared in 2005’s Romy and Michelle: A New Beginning. More recently, she portrayed Davina, an educator at an LGBT center, in the Amazon original Transparent, which just finished its fourth and final season.
“I literally cannot believe my life,” she wrote. “I am truly blessed. And completely shocked.”
Billings made her Broadway debut in 2018’s The Nap at Manhattan Theatre Club. Her screen credits include Amazon’s Goliath, as well as How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, among others.
Wicked opened at the Gershwin Theatre on October 30, 2003 and is produced by Universal Stage Productions, Marc Platt, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt, and David Stone.
The production is directed by Joe Mantello, with choreography by James Lynn Abbott, and features scene design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and sound design by Tony Meola.
Tickets are available now for performances of Wicked through April 12, 2020.