Charlie Hudson, III, Nana Mensah and More to Star in MCC Theater's NOLLYWOOD DREAMS; Tickets On Sale Today
MCC Theater (Bob LuPone, Bernie Telsey, Will Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) announced today the complete casting for the World Premiere of Nollywood Dreams by Jocelyn Bioh (MCC Theater's Burnt Umber Playwright-In-Residence) with direction by Saheem Ali.The cast will feature Charlie Hudson, III (A Raisin in the Sun), Outer Critics Circle and Lortel Award nominee Nana Mensah (Man From Nebraska), Sandra Okuboyejo (Hamilton, Chicago), Ade Otukoya ("Shades of Blue"), Emana Rachelle ("Insecure"), and Zenzi Williams (MCC's School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play) Nollywood Dreams begins performances on Thursday, March 19th, 2020, in the Newman Mills Theater at The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space (511 West 52nd Street), with official opening night set for Monday, April 13th. Nollywood Dreams marks Bioh's return to MCC Theater, and debut at the Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, after the 2017 premiere and 2018 remount of her critically acclaimed play, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play. Bioh's School Girls... has gone on to dozens of productions across the country and was aired on PBS's "Theater Close-Up" this past summer.
Playwright Jocelyn Bioh says, "I was inspired to write Nollywood Dreams as a love letter to the African films of my youth and to an industry I'm crazy enough to love and work in: show business. It's such a classic story but with a culturally specific spin that like School Girls, I hope audiences will enjoy, learn from and connect with the universality of the story."
MCC Theater Co-Artistic Director Will Cantler says, "After the enormous success of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, we're delighted to welcome back Jocelyn Bioh. Jocelyn writes comedy with enormous heart, and Nollywood Dreams is no exception. This time her rom-com dives in to the hopes and dreams inspired by the Nigerian film industry - the world's second biggest with over 1,500 films made each year. We've admired Saheem Ali's directing for several years now, so it's a thrill to welcome him to MCC at the helm of Jocelyn's total treat of a play."It's the 1990s and in Lagos, Nigeria, the Nollywood film industry is exploding and taking the world by storm. Ayamma (Sandra Okuboyejo) dreams of stardom while working at her parents' travel agency alongside her lovable and celebrity-obsessed sister Dede (Nana Mensah). When Ayamma lands an audition for a new film by Gbenga Ezie (Charlie Hudson, III), Nigeria's hottest director, she comes head-to-head with Gbenga's former leading lady, Fayola (Emana Rachelle). Tensions flare just as sparks start flying between Ayamma, the aspiring ingénue, and Wale (Ade Otukoya), Nollywood's biggest heartthrob, in this hilarious new play about dreaming big. The creative team includes scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by David Weiner, sound design by Palmer Hefferan, projection design by Alex Basco Koch, and casting by Telsey + Company/ William Cantler, CSA, Destiny Lilly, CSA. The Production Stage Manager is Alyssa Howard.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski