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Mariah Lyttle ’19 stars as the protagonist, Celie, in the national tour of The Color Purple musical, proudly representing Ithaca College in one of the most acclaimed stage productions in recent memory. 

The musical—based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Alice Walker—opened on Broadway in late 2015, won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 2016, and followed that with the launch of two national tours, one in 2017 and the second—featuring Mariah—in 2019. 

Mariah, a Connecticut native, has been acting since her freshman year of high school, amassing a variety of credits including productions of Ragtime, Violet, The Wiz, Company, and Hair.

As Celie, Mariah is at the forefront of the epic tale. 

“Her journey is so relatable in so many aspects. It’s a story that needs to be told now and can always be told. It’s timeless. It’s a journey that everyone should witness.” 

She counts her experience at Ithaca as integral in preparing her for taking on the role and going on the road.

“When I got to Ithaca, I really honed my acting skills,” Mariah says. “I learned a lot about myself as a human in college, and that portrayed through in my acting and singing. I really had to learn not to take this passion of mine for granted and just really think about how lucky I am to be doing what I love and calling it a job.”

*Remaining engagements for the touring production of The Color Purple musical have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.