The Arthur Laurents Theater
at The New Brunswick Performing Arts CenterDirections
Mfoniso Udofia's plays, Sojourners, runboyrun, Her Portmanteau, and In Old Age have been seen at the American Conservatory Theater [A.C.T.], New York Theatre Workshop [NYTW], The Playwrights Realm, Magic Theater, National Black Theatre, Strand Theater Company, and Boston Court. She’s the recipient of the 2017 Helen Merrill Playwright Award, the 2017-18 McKnight National Residency and Commission at The Playwrights’ Center and is a member of the New Dramatists class of 2023. Mfoniso is currently commissioned by A.C.T., Hartford Stage, Denver Center, A.C.T., Roundhouse, and South Coast Repertory. Her plays have been developed by Manhattan Theatre Club, A.C.T., NYTW, The Playwrights Realm, McCarter Theatre, OSF, New Dramatists, PCS’s JAW Festival, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, The OCC, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, Space on Ryder Farm, Page 73, New Black Fest, Rising Circle and more.
She has worked as a television writer on the third season of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and the first seasons of both Apple TV's Little America and Pachinko. She's also working on Amazon's A League of Their Own.
As an actress, she recently appeared off-Broadway in Ngozi Anyanwu's, The Homecoming Queen. She's also appeared in the feature film, Fred Won't Move Out.
Laiona Michelle added writer to her resume with her double bill as writer and star of the critical and box-office smash, Little Girl Blue, The Nina Simone Musical, which launched its world premiere engagement at the George Street Playhouse on Feb 1, 2019. Now, she takes on the mantle of book writer, for a new project, Mandela -- a musical based on Nelson Mandela’s life; from his days as a leading activist against Apartheid, to his imprisonment and eventual release to become the nation’s President.
Laiona Michelle began to gain national notoriety when she made her Broadway debut in 2015, in the musical, Amazing Grace, which opened at the Nederlander. Cast in the principal role of Nanna, a woman stolen away from her family by slave traders, she delivers one of the stand out musical moments of the play.
Laiona Michelle has been nominated for numerous awards including the Independent Reviewers of New England, Best Lead Actress award (2001, Stonewall Jackson’s House); and she is the recipient of the Barrymore and Carbonell Awards (2004, Constant Star); The NAACP Hollywood award (2005, Constant Star), and she was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award (2005, Yellowman). Television: Lift, All My Children, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Blacklist, and Crashing, as well as Amazon’s Sneaky Pete. Special thanks to the George Street Playhouse for their love and support.
Jennean Farmer (Adiaha) NYC Theater: Cullud Wattah, Ain’t No Mo’ (The Public Theater), Toni Stone (Roundabout Theatre). Regional: Mlima’s Tale (Westport Country Playhouse). Film: The Secret Art of Human Flight (co-star), A Thousand and One (co-star), The Good Nurse (co-star), How the Light Gets In (co-star). TV: “Dead Ringers” (recurring), “That Damn Michael Che” (co-star), “New Amsterdam” (co-star), “FBI” (co-star). MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. Ms. Farmer is a US Army Veteran.
Shannon Harris (Iniabasi), an actor and award-winning filmmaker, wrote, produced, directed, and played lead roles in short films THREE birds and grist, which won Best Narrative and Best Actor at Mott Haven Film Festival 2021. Other screen credits include The Blacklist, Happy!, Ray Donovan, and Marvel’s Luke Cage. Stage credits range from lady in red in for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf in LA to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) in the Hamptons. Training: Barnard College (BA, English), AADA-LA, The Royal CSSD (MA, Classical Acting - Distinction). TheShannonHarris.com IG: @shannon_harrisig
Mattilyn Rochester Kravitz (Abasiama) Most recently Mattilyn appeared on the NBPAC stage in Crossroads Theater's Freedom Rider. Her many theatre credits include several acclaimed solo shows. Her stage work has been nominated for the Philadelphia Barrymore Award, the Otto Haas Emerging Artist Award, and the NAACP Theatre Award. Mattilyn’s latest solo show is The Long Goodbye, which details how caring for her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother helped heal their fractured relationship makes its Edinburgh Fringe premiere in 2022. TV credits include Black Mafia Family, Law and Order: SVU and Boardwalk Empire. Mattilyn is a proud member of AKA, Inc and The Links, Inc.
This stunning play about a Nigerian family in America centers around reconciliation, reinvention, and at its heart, the relationship between mothers and their daughters. Making her directorial debut on this production is George Street Playhouse’s Artistic Associate Laiona Michelle, who wowed audiences in Little Girl Blue both at George Street Playhouse and off-Broadway. The fourth installment in Ms. Udofia’s epic nine-play Ufot family cycle about the Nigerian American identity and the universality of a family’s unconditional love is not one to be missed!