VIDEO: ECLIPSED Playwright Danai Gurira Introduces FAMILIAR, a Zimbabwean-American Story

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Earlier this season, playwright Danai Gurira opened the hard-hitting and poignant ECLIPSED at the Public Theater, an intriguing drama about five extraordinary women in Liberia who each have their own way of dealing with the sexual violence that comes with war.

A Broadway transfer of ECLIPSED is set to open in March, but first Gurira's FAMILIAR prepares for its first Playwrights Horizons preview on February 12th.

Set in snowy Minnesota, FAMILIAR has a Zimbabwean family preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter, a first-generation American. But when the bride insists on observing a traditional African custom, it opens a deep rift in the household.

The playwright and director Rebecca Taichman offer their insight on the unexpected drama of FAMILIAR.

Playwrights Horizons has announced casting for FAMILIAR, the New York premiere of a new play by Obie Award winnerDanai Gurira (the Broadway-bound Eclipsed, In the Continuum, The Convert, Michonne on AMC's "The Walking Dead"). Directed by Rebecca Taichman (Stage Kiss, Milk Like Sugar at PH; The Oldest Boy; Marie Antoinette; Luck of the Irish; Orlando), the play is the fourth production of the theater company's 2015/2016 Season.

The cast of FAMILAIR will feature Ito Aghayere (Three Days to See, The Liquid Plain, The Tempest), Joby Earle (War Horse, Owners, Compulsion), Melanie Nicholls-King (Audelco nominations for NoonDay Sun, Relativity, "The Wire," "Rookie Blue"), Roslyn Ruff (Broadway's All the Way, Romeo and Juliet, Fences, "The Big C"), Harold Surratt (Impressionism, Serious Money, The Convert), Myra Lucretia Taylor (A Cool Dip..., Crazy Mary, Fabulation at PH; Wicked, Nine, "Girls"),Joe Tippett (Familiar at Yale Rep., Airline Highway, Waitress) and Tony Award winner Tamara Tunie (Dr. Melinda Warner on "Law & Order: SVU"; Jessica Griffin on "As the World Turns"; on Broadway in Julius Caesar, Dreamgirls, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music; Tony Award as producer of Spring Awakening).

FAMILIAR will begin previews Friday, February 12 at 8PM with an Opening Night set for Thursday, March 3 at 7PM. The limited engagement will play through Sunday evening, March 27 at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street).

It's winter in Minnesota and a Zimbabwean family is preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter (Ms. Ruff), a first-generation American. But when the bride insists on observing a traditional African custom, it opens a deep rift in the household. Rowdy and affectionate, FAMILIAR pitches tradition against assimilation, drawing a loving portrait of a family: the customs they keep, and the secrets they bury.

The production will feature scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Tony Award winner Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Tyler Micoleau and sound design by Tony Award winner Darron L West. Production Stage Manager is Cole P. Bonenberger.

FAMILIAR is the next production in what has been an especially celebrated season thus far at Playwrights Horizons. The new play follows The Christians by Lucas Hnath, Hir by Taylor Mac and Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison - all three of which have been met by rave reviews and received multiple-week extensions due to critical acclaim and public demand.

At the same time that FAMILIAR will be having its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons, Ms. Gurira's acclaimed play Eclipsed will be having its Broadway premiere. Last year's celebrated production at The Public Theater will transfer uptown to The Golden Theatre with previews starting February 23.

FAMILIAR had its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre, also under the direction of Ms. Taichman, in February 2014.

The performance schedule for FAMILAIR will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7PM, Thursdays and Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2:30 PM & 8PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM. There are special Monday evening performances on February 22 & 29 at 7PM. Single tickets, $75-95, may be purchased online via, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily) and in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).

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From This Author Michael Dale