VIDEO: Scenes from Danai Gurira's Warm and Evocative Family Drama, FAMILIAR
Danai Gurira is certainly one of New York's hottest playwrights these days. The Broadway transfer of her wartime drama ECLIPSED garnered rave reviews once again, as it did when it opened last year at The Public Theater. Today it was announce that the acclaimed New York premiere of her comedy/drama FAMILIAR has been extended at Playwrights Horizons.
While ECLIPSED focuses on the struggles of a group of women in Liberia, FAMILIAR depicts the issues faced by a family of Americans who migrated from Zimbabwe.
A new video offers scenes from her warm and evocative drama.
Due to critical acclaim and popular demand, Playwrights Horizons has announced an extension of their New York premiere production of FAMILIAR, a new play by Obie Award-winner Danai Gurira (Eclipsed now on Broadway, 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.
Originally announced to play a limited engagement through Sunday, March 27, FAMILIAR has extended two additional weeks through Sunday, April 10 at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street). The production began previews on February 12 and had its official opening on March 3.
In what has been an especially celebrated season thus far at Playwrights Horizons, FAMILIAR follows The Christians by Lucas Hnath, Hir by Taylor Mac and Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison. All four have been met by rave reviews - including each being named New York Times Critics' Picks - and received multiple-week extensions. As Jesse Green of New York Magazine writes in this week's issue, "A brilliant incubator of new plays and voices, Playwrights Horizons has been having an exceptionally good season."
The celebrated cast of FAMILIAR features 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"), Obie Award winner 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).
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 features scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Tony Award winner Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Obie Award winner Tyler Micoleau, sound design by Tony Award winner Darron L West and hair and wig design by Cookie Jordan. Production Stage Manager is Cole P. Bonenberger.
FAMILIAR had its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre, also under the direction of Ms. Taichman, in February 2014.
The performance schedule for FAMILIAR is 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. Single tickets, $75-95, may be purchased online via www.TicketCentral.com and www.Facebook.com, 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).