Tavis Smiley is bringing Maya Angelou’s legacy to the stage in an upcoming play about the late renowned poet, novelist and activist’s life.
Angelou already has a hip-hop album, and a stamp, but the world is not done giving “Mother Maya” her flowers. The Associated Press reports that Smiley has teamed with director Kenny Leon to adapt the radio host’s memoir “My Journey With Maya.”
The book follows the relationship that Smiley had with Angelou, which spanned nearly three decades. After meeting Angelou in the mid-80s, Tavis looked up to the poet not just as a friend, but as a mentor because she was always imparting wisdom about how to live a full life.
He recalls that she would often drop little nuggets of wisdom in their conversations like “We find our path by walking it” and “nothing human is alien to me.”
As Smiley explained, “That was her way of saying, ‘Live your life on your own terms. Don’t be afraid to try anything. Experience everything.’”
Smiley and Leon have started the search for a writer, and they haven’t even thought about who they might cast for the show at this time. However, Smiley seems to have found a solid partner in Leon, who won a Tony Award last year for his production go “A Raisin in the Sun.” He’s also signed on to bring “The Wiz” to Broadway.
“I haven’t been this excited by a project in a long, long time,” Leon told AP. “I don’t think there is another person like her in my lifetime or in the last 100 years of American artistry and literary achievement.”