Backstage on Broadway: OITNB’s Samira Wiley stars in new show ‘Daphne’s Dive’

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Orange is the New Black star, Samira Wiley, is far from a Hollywood set these days.

"Look at this set it’s amazing!" she smiled, pointing at the stage. "I love being here everyday!"

She is on set at the Signature Theater starring in Daphne's Dive.

"My character, Ruby sort of falls into this place, she grows up in this bar and she becomes a woman in this bar," she explained.

During the course of the play, Samira's character grows from 11 to 29 in this cheap, North Philly bar after she's saved from her abusive family.

"She really is raised by a village that lives in a bar, into these cast of characters who are not family but in the same way they are," she explained.

The show is based on a true story and directed by Thomas Kail, who just got a Tony nomination for directing Hamilton.

"On the day that he got nominated we all started calling him Tony instead of Tommy!" Wiley laughed.  "The one thing I value in directors is coming into a room and feeling safe, he made us feel that way from the very beginning."

This Julliard alum also feels safe in her own skin, Samira is a vocal proponent for the LGBTQ community.

"I think people assume that because I grew up with two pastors I must have had a very difficult coming out story," she said. "I come from a family that is so open, not just tolerant but affirming of who I am and not just who I am but who we all are."

In fact, she received a Human Rights Campaign Award.

"I said in my acceptance speech how radical it is in this time that I am getting awards for just living my life," she said.

We will be seeing a lot more of this versatile actress, starring on the big screen this summer in '37', but she couldn't be happier hanging in Daphne's Dive.

"In so many ways this feels like coming back home," she smiled.

Daphne's Dive is currently playing at the Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center through June 12.

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