Cast Announced For HER PORTMENTEAU At George Street Playhouse; Tickets For 2022/23 Season On Sale Now

Her Portmanteau will begin performances October 11 and continue through October 30. 

By: Jul. 28, 2022
Cast Announced For HER PORTMENTEAU At George Street Playhouse; Tickets For 2022/23 Season On Sale Now

George Street Playhouse will welcome back audiences to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center and has announce casting for the upcoming production of Her Portmanteau a new play by Mfoniso Udofia, directed by Laiona Michelle. Performances begin October 11th, 2022 through October 30th.

Tickets are now on sale for the full 2022-23 Season starting Friday, July 29 at Click Here. Box office is open for phone sales at 732-246-7717 starting Monday, August 1 at 10 a.m. Subscribers save 20% or more on full-season packages and discounts are also available for groups of 10 or more.

"We can't wait to welcome audiences back this fall and jump start our 2022-23 season with Her Portmanteau, a moving play about a mother and her daughters." said David Saint, Artistic Director, George Street Playhouse. "We have assembled such a rich and diverse group of shows-each promises to entertain and elevate the human spirit. Come join us!"

Following Her Portmanteau, the season continues with Joy, a new musical based on the best-selling book "Inventing Joy" that chronicles the life and times of global entrepreneur Joy Mangano (December 7- 30th); the comedy/thriller Clydes by two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage (January 31 - February 19th, 2023); the charming musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (March 14- April 9th, 2023) , and Tales From the Guttenberg Bible, a new autobiographical comedy from veteran screen actor Steve Guttenberg (April 25- May 21, 2023).

Her Portmanteau by playwright Mfoniso Udofia will be directed by George Street Playhouse's Artistic Associate Laiona Michelle (Little Girl Blue, Book of Mormon). Mfoniso Udofia's moving work, which The New York Times called "extraordinary," touches on universal themes of mother-daughter relationships, forgiveness, reconciliation, and the struggle associated with leaving our countries of origin behind, while still holding on to its rich cultural heritage. The cast includes Jennean Farmer (Off Broadway/Public Theater: Cullud Wattah, Ain't No Mo' ), Shannon Harris (NBC: The Blacklist), and Mattilyn Kravitz NBC: Law and Order SVU, HBO: Boardwalk Empire).

The design and production team includes: Laiona Michelle - Director; Gregory J. Horton - Costume Designer; Karen Graybash - Sound Designer; Inza Bamba, Composer, Ebbe Bassey, Language Consultant; Maggie Surrovell, Dialect Coach; Samantha Flint - Production Stage Manager.

Her Portmanteau will begin performances October 11 and continue through October 30.

About The Cast & Creative Team for HER PORTMANTEAU

Mfoniso Udofia's (Playwright) 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.Ms. Udofia 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 (Director) is proud to add director to her resume with this production. Her double bill as writer and star of the critical and box-office smash, Little Girl Blue, which launched its world premiere engagement at the George Street Playhouse on Feb 1, 2019 was followed by a critically acclaimed Off- Broadway run in 2022. Laiona Michelle made her Broadway debut in 2015, in the musical, Amazing Grace, which opened at the Nederlander. A 2022 Lily award recipient, she 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.

Jennean Farmer, 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, 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). IG: @shannon_harrisig

Mattilyn Kravitz, 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.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1997, and Managing Director Kelly Ryman since 2013, the Playhouse produces groundbreaking new works, inspiring productions of the classics, and hit Broadway plays and musicals that speak to the heart and mind, with an unwavering commitment to producing new work. As New Brunswick's first producing theatre, George Street Playhouse became the cornerstone of the revitalization of the City's arts and cultural landscape. With its 48-year history of producing nationally renowned theatre, the Playhouse continues to fill a unique theatre and arts education role in the city, state and greater metropolitan region.

The Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway. In 2018, George Street Playhouse was represented on Broadway with Gettin' the Band Back Together which premiered on the Playhouse mainstage in 2013. Little Girl Blue which premiered at GSP in 2019 moved to off-Broadway in 2022 winning The Broadway Alliance Award for Best Solo Performance and a Lilly Award for GSP Artistic Associate Laiona Michelle.

Other productions include the Outer Critics' Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger. In 2015, It Shoulda Been You opened on Broadway and Joe DiPietro's Clever Little Lies opened off-Broadway. Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse. Others include the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at the Playhouse during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays.

Beginning with the 2019-20 Season, George Street Playhouse moved to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in downtown New Brunswick. Featuring two state-of-the-art theatres -- The Arthur Laurents Theater with 253 seats and The Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater which seats 465-- and myriad amenities, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center marks a new era in the esteemed history of George Street Playhouse.

Founded by Eric Krebs, George Street Playhouse, originally located in an abandoned supermarket on the corner of George and Albany Streets, was the first professional theatre in New Brunswick. In 1984, the Playhouse moved to a renovated YMCA on Livingston Avenue, and in 2017 took temporary residence in the former Agricultural Museum at Rutgers University during construction of its new home.

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