Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Will Swenson are one of the most beloved couples in the industry. But before the two met during the play of 110 in the Shade in 2007 both married other people and both had children. Audra, who comes from a musical family, married bassist Peter Donovan in 2000. They had a daughter together and Audra also had a very busy career, collecting one Tony award after another (she has six now) and also starring in a big role in the TV series Private Practice, a Grey’s Anatomy spin-off.
We don’t know much about the end of her marriage to Peter. They were happy for many years, bought a dilapidated house together north of New York, had extensive work done on it to make their little home a haven and they also had to endure the four years Audra worked in LA on her TV show.
Whilst she doesn’t sound as if she regretted doing the show, she said that she wouldn’t do it again, if it would take her away from home for so long and so far. Plus, her first love is Broadway and given her success there, we’re not really surprised that it is her true home.
It’s a little bit ironic that she was partnered with Taye Diggs in Private Practice, where her marriage ended up being in trouble as well. And let’s not forget to mention the Taye was long the other half of another of Broadway’s dream couples. But where he and Idina Menzel broke apart, Audra found her Will and they filled the position of dream couple once more.
Audra’s marriage to her first husband broke apart no later than 2008. The divorce was only finalized in 2009 and we can guess that there was a shared custody agreement and that Audra got the house. Before she was officially known as a divorcee, she was seen out and about with Will Swenson and the two set tongues wagging, because they made no secret of their affection for each other.
It’s safe to say that Audra and Peter were separated at the time. Even if she fell for Will whilst still married to Peter, nobody would think Audra fool enough to openly cheat on her husband of nine years. But their separation and divorce happened behind closed doors.
To their credit it must be said that Audra and Will didn’t get married as soon as they were free to do so. They were married in October 2012, which is long enough to be sure that they want to stay together and blend their families.
One gets the impression that Audra and Peter are still friendly and that their divorce wasn’t contentious. Every now and then Audra’s and Will’s extended family gathers at their home and the haven remains peaceful.
Last year Audra and Will returned to the stage to play a divorced couple, which some considered ironic and wondered, if there might be some strain on their real-life relationship. After all, not every couple manages to work together successfully. But Audra and Will seem to love it and very much praise each other and their work ethics.
It’s probably safe to say that these two will continue on their path for some time to come. Hopefully they’ll never part ways.