What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear or read the word “Motown?” For me, the people who come to mind are, of course, Motown’s founder Berry Gordy, then Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Diana Ross, Mary Wells, The Jackson 5, Mary Wilson, Four Tops and many, many more legendary acts who will forever be a part of Classic Motown. I also think of the famous place where it all started – Detroit, Michigan where the physical office location was affectionately nicknamed Hitsville, USA and it all started back in 1959 when Berry Gordy took an $800 loan from his family to create what has now become a cultural icon.
Another big part of the American culture is seeing stage plays on Broadway in New York City. Well, what do you get when Motown meets Broadway? You get Motown The Musical! Can you imagine this!? Currently, you can stop in and see the Broadway show at the Lunte-Fontanne Theatre, 205 West 46th St., New York, NY.
In order to portray some of the finest musical acts to ever grace stages all over the world, you must have top talent in the show and seasoned supporting staff to produce and direct such talent. This brings us to Ms. Schele Williams who is the Associate Director on Motown The Musical. Ms. Williams was kind enough to speak with me about her career and how she became the Associate Director for the musical which represents American music and history.
OM: Hello Schele! Please describe for the readers what you do as your career.
SCHELE: I’m a director of theater and my current full-time job is the Associate Director of Motown the Musical on Broadway. And in addition, I’m adjunct faculty at NYU (New York University) New Studio on Broadway where I teach vocal performance.
OM: What kind of music do you sing?
SCHELE: I’m a different kind of singer. I’m a theater gal so I spent 10 years performing on Broadway before I became a director. The CDs I’m on are cast albums. I was in the original cast of Aida so you can hear me on the cast album of that. I’ve done some backup for some old friends that have CDs like Adam Pascal, but there are a number of Broadway concert CDs you can hear me on. I’m definitely not in the R&B Funk world like my father. (Shele’s father is James Diamond Williams of The Ohio Players).
Read the full article at Onyx Magazine.