The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Micki Grant

Micki Grant

Composer, Lyricist, Book-Writer, Actress

Interviewed on: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Location: at Her Home.
Interviewed by: Casey Childs
Interview #76
"It’s something you just do, you know. If you’re on a desert island and you have a piece of paper, it’s going to happen."
Micki Grant Highlights
Video Length: 6 Minutes, 10 Seconds
Micki Grant Interview
Video Length: 2 Hours

Micki Grant is a composer, lyricist, playwright, and actress whose first experience in New York theatre was as a performer in the musical FLY BLACKBIRD, which opened at the Mayfair Theatre in 1962. Her other Off-Broadway acting credits include: THE BLACKS (1962), BRECHT ON BRECHT (1963), THE CRADLE WILL ROCK (1964), JERICHO JIM-CROW (1964), and LEONARD BERNSTEIN’S THEATRE SONGS (1965). She wrote the music and lyrics for THE PRODIGAL SISTER (1974) at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, and STEP LIVELY, BOY! (1973). The latter was the first of many collaborations with acclaimed director Vinnette Carroll, who was the first African American woman to direct on Broadway. Grant’s Off-Broadway career has taken her to the Sheridan Square Playhouse, Urban Arts Corps., AMAS Repertory Theater, and the Cherry Lane Theatre, among others.

Born in Chicago, Grant’s affinity for music and writing began to show at an early age. At age 12, after already playing piano and violin, she took up the double bass.  She had her first book of poetry published when she was 14. Her artistry has earned her Grammy, Helen Hayes, OBIE, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and NAACP Image Awards, as well as five Tony Award nominations. She has received  Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Dramatists Guild,  League of Professional Theatre Women, and the National Black Theatre Festival.  Grant’s Broadway writing credits include: Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope (1972), Your Arms Too Short to Box with God (1976), Working (1978), and It’s So Nice to Be Civilized (1980). In the 1960s, Grant was cast as a regular cast member on NBC’s “Another World,” making her the first African American actor/contract player on a daytime soap opera. 

Mentioned in Interview

Woodie King, Jr., Vinnette Carroll, Rosetta LeNoire, Lloyd Richards, Lotte Lenya, Ruby Dee, Mike Nichols, Langston Hughes, Urban Arts Corps, Sheridan Square Playhouse, AMAS Repertory Theater, New Federal Theater, St. Marks Church in the Bowery, Cherry Lane Theatre, Theater de Lys, Lucille Lortel Theater, TO BE YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK, BRECHT ON BRECHT, FLY BLACKBIRD, DON’T BOTHER ME I CAN’T COPE, YOUR ARMS TOO SHORT TO BOX WITH GOD, THE BLACKS, ALICE, PRODIGAL SISTER, THE CRADLE WILL ROCK, LEONARD BERNSTEIN’S THEATRE SONGS