World Premiere Of Mfoniso Udofia's IN OLD AGE Announced At Magic Theatre
Magic Theatre (Loretta Greco, Artistic Director and Cierra Cass, Interim Managing Director) announced today the complete cast of Mfoniso Udofia's World Premiere In Old Age, the Company's first production of 2019. In Old Age will be directed by Victor Malana Maog. Previews begin on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at Magic Theatre's Fort Mason location (Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., Building D, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94123), with a press opening on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from $15 - $75 and are on-sale now at MagicTheatre.org.
In In Old Age, seasoned repairman Azell Abernathy arrives at the home of Abasiama Ufot to redo the floors of her dilapidated New England home, where he is surprised to be met with stubborn resistance. The two clash, challenge each other, and eventually form an unlikely spiritual connection. Abasiama and Azell learn the true nature of forgiveness and love, just as her life takes a new turn. This fifth installment of Mfoniso Udofia's Ufot family cycle offers both purge and peacemaking; both frenzy and faith. Other chapters of Mfoniso's cycle (Sojourners, runboyrun) were performed at Magic in the 2015-16 season. Udofia's sweeping nine-part saga tells the multi-generational stories of a family of Nigerian immigrants and their American-born children.
Magic Theatre's production of In Old Age is part of a special collaboration with American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.). Until March 31,A.C.T. is presenting the fourth installment of Udofia's Ufot family cycle, Her Portmanteau, at the Strand Theater (1127 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103).
"Mfoniso Udofia is a poster child for what we mean when we talk about our Magic Theatre family," said Magic Theatre Artistic Director Loretta Greco. "Since 2013, we've welcomed Mfoniso each year with open arms, to support her work on her visionary nine-play Ufot Family Cycle. It is our sublime privilege to welcome her back home to Magic as we birth the world premiere of her fifth play: In Old Age. This will be especially exciting for audiences who saw our premieres of Mfoniso's first and third cycle plays: Sojourners and runboyrun in the winter of 2016 --and for those who are currently taking in the wonderful production of play four: Her Portmanteau from our cherished colleagues at ACT's Strand Theatre."
"Magic Theater has been one of my artistic homes since 2014," said playwright Mfoniso Udofia. "They are one of the most front-footed and non-risk averse institutions I know. They have already produced two plays from my cycle, Sojourners and runboyrun and it is beyond fitting that In Old Age will world premiere with Magic. I am so excited to come back!"
"It is truly remarkable," said director Victor Malana Maog, "to deliver a world premiere by Mfoniso Udofia, one of this nation's fastest rising and most formidable theatrical voices. In collaboration with this brave, dedicated team of artists, I look forward to bringing Mfoniso's resilient, haunting play to life at Magic. In creating these extraordinarily drawn characters, Mfoniso has expanded the definition of what it means to be an American giant."
About Mfoniso Udofia
Mfoniso Udofia, a first-generation Nigerian American storyteller and educator, attended Wellesley College and obtained her M.F.A. in acting from the American Conservatory Theater. During her stay in the Bay Area, she co-pioneered the groundbreaking youth theater initiative, The Nia Project, which provided artistic outlets for youth residing in the Bayview/Hunters Point district. Udofia is also currently at work on a commission from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival translating Shakespeare's Othello, through its Play On! program. Her plays have been developed at and/or presented/produced by The Playwrights Realm, Magic Theatre, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, SPACE on Ryder Farm, NNPN New Play Showcase, Makehouse, Soul Productions, terraNOVA Collective, Interstate 73, the New Black Fest, Rising Circle Theater Collective's INKTank, At Hand Theatre Company, the Standard Collective, American Slavery Project, Liberation Theatre Company, and more. Udofia was a finalist for the 2015 PoNY Prize, the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Many Voices Fellowship, Page73 Development Programs, the Playwrights' Center Jerome Fellowship, New York Theatre Workshop's 20/50 Fellowship, and the Lark Playwrights' Week. She is the recipient of the 2017-18 McKnight National Residency and Commission at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis. You can follow her at @mfudofia or visitmfonisoudofia.com for the latest news on her upcoming works.
About Victor Malana Maog
Named one of American Theatre Magazine's "People to Watch", Victor makes his Magic Theater debut. He recently directed Mfoniso Udofia'sHer Portmanteau at A.C.T. He also has directed and developed work at The Public Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, Hartford Stage, Signature Theatre Company, Mabou Mines, Drury Lane Theatre, 2g, The Lark, New Dramatists, ABC/Disney, and large-scale stage shows, live events, and spectaculars at Disney Parks Live Entertainment. Upcoming: Macbeth at Cal Shakes. Maog first gained notice in 2004, when he was one of six directors in the nation to receive the NEA/TCG Career Development Program. He has also been awarded the Van Lier Directing Fellowship at Second Stage, Altvater Fellowship at Cornerstone Theatre Company, and the Presidential Award with the Theatre Arts Project, and was recently chosen as an inaugural TCG SPARK Leader, spotlighting rising arts executives. B.A. in Global Leadership and Performance Studies - NYU/Gallatin.
About Loretta Greco
Loretta Greco is currently in her tenth season as Magic Theatre's Artistic Director. At Magic, she has developed and premiered Taylor Mac's Hir; Luis Alfaro's Oedipus el Rey; Polly Pen and Victor Lodato's Arlington; Sharr White's Annapurna; Lloyd Suh's American Hwangap; and Octavio Solis' Se Llama Cristina. Ms. Greco's directing credits at Magic include Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius, Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters, the revival of Sam Shepard's Fool For Love, and the World Premiere of Han Ong's Grandeur. Last season, Ms. Greco directed the World Premieres of Barbara Hammond's The Eva Trilogy and Jessica Hagedorn's The Gangster of Love.
Ms. Greco's New York Directing premieres include: Tracey Scott Wilson's The Story, Lackawanna Blues (Obie) by Ruben Santiago Hudson, Nilo Cruz's Two Sisters and a Piano at NYSF/Public Theater, Rinne Groff's Inky at Women's Project, and Nilo Cruz's A Park in Our House at New York Theatre Workshop. Prior to her Magic post, she served as Producing Artistic Director of New York's Women's Project and the Associate Director/Resident Producer at the McCarter Theatre. Ms. Greco received her MFA from Catholic University, her BA from Loyola University New Orleans, and has received two Drama League Fellowships and a Princess Grace Award.
Steven Anthony Jones was the artistic director of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. He has worked professionally on stage, television and in film for 46 years. He has performed in the works of August Wilson, (Charles) Fuller, Fugard, Stoppard, Gotonda, Beckett, Pinter, Moliere, Shakespeare, Chekhov and others. He was in the original cast of A Soldier's Play produced by the Negro Ensemble Company, which won an Obie Award for ensemble acting and the Pulitzer Prize for best drama. He performed, taught and directed at the American Conservatory Theater for 22 years as a member of the core acting company. Mr. Jones received his early theatre training at Karamu House in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.
About Nancy Moricette
Nancy Moricette is a Haitian American actorvist whose roots lie in performance art and social justice. She performed at The Williams Project, The Public Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Writer's Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Company. She received a Helen Hayes nomination for Best Actress in The Convert at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre and the Philadelphia Critic's Choice Award for Best Actress for the same production at the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia. For more information about Nancy visit one of her nifty websites: http://nmoricette.wixsite.com/nancymoricette, www.asepowerconsult.com.
Following In Old Age, Magic Theatre's 2018-2019 season will conclude with an anniversary revival of Luis Alfaro's critically acclaimedOedipus el Rey (May 29 - June 23, 2019) which premiered at Magic Theatre ten years ago. The 2019-2020 season will be announced shortly.
Magic Theatre is located in the Marina District of San Francisco, at the historic Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., Building D, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94123). The entrance to Fort Mason is at the intersection of Marina Blvd and Buchanan Street. The performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday - Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets, priced from $15.00 to $75.00, are available online at MagicTheatre.org; by calling Magic Theatre at (415) 441-8822; or visiting Magic Theatre's Box Office, Tuesday - Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance dates, the Box Office is open Tuesday - Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday one hour prior to the show. For more information, visit MagicTheatre.org.
About Magic Theatre
Now celebrating its 52nd year of continuous operation, Magic is dedicated to creative risk: we cultivate bold new plays and playwrights to produce incendiary and ideologically robust stories that ask substantive questions about our place in humanity. Magic provides a nurturing yet rigorous artistic home where innovative writers can create a body of work. We believe that developing an evolved artistic vocabulary with the playwright at our side greatly improves a playwright's chances to thrive. By adding voices to the canon, we ensure the vibrancy of the American theatre.
Magic's impact has resonated throughout the country and beyond since its founding by John Lion in 1967; Lion brought in Sam Shepard and Michael McClure as playwrights-in-residence, establishing Magic as a space for the communion of playwright and audience. From these early plays to the World Premieres of Luis Alfaro's Oedipus el Rey and Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge and Hir, Magic continues to produce groundbreaking new work.
Since Artistic Director Loretta Greco assumed leadership of Magic in 2008, the theatre has produced twenty world premieres, seventeen of which have enjoyed life beyond the Magic stage. Magic plays have received numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize, ten Obie Awards, the Kennedy Center Award, Bay Area Critics' Circle Awards, and the NAACP Image Award.