“Room,” Emma Donoghue’s harrowing story of a young boy raised in a shed where he and his mother are held captive by a sexual predator, was a best-selling novel in 2010, and then a much-praised film in 2015.
Now a stage adaptation of the story is coming to Broadway with Adrienne Warren, a Tony-winning actress, starring as the boy’s mother. Warren, a founder of the antiracism organization Broadway Advocacy Coalition, won the Tony in 2021 for her electrifying performance as Tina Turner in the “Tina” biomusical. She has since appeared in the film “The Woman King” and the television series “Women of the Movement” and signed a development deal with a production company.
The stage adaptation of “Room,” which is a drama with songs, has had several productions, starting in 2017 in the British Isles — at Theater Royal Stratford East in London, Abbey Theater in Dublin and National Theater of Scotland in Glasgow — and then last year in Canada, at Grand Theater in London, Ontario, and the Princess of Wales Theater in Toronto.
Asked whether the production would be considered a play or a musical for awards purposes, Jim Byk, a spokesman for the show, said, “The producers have previously described ‘Room’as a play with music, but as there has been considerable work done since the last production, they do not plan on making a definitive call on this until after the show is frozen, as is traditional for productions that could technically qualify for either category.”
The Broadway production is scheduled to begin preview performances April 3 and to open April 17 at the James Earl Jones Theater. Donoghue, the Irish Canadian author of both the novel and the screenplay, has also written the stage adaptation; the songs are by two Scotswomen, Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett. Bissett is also directing the show.
“Room” is being produced by Sam Julyan, James Yeoburn, ShowTown Productions and Hunter Arnold.