In a two-part theatrical event, NYTW Usual Suspect Ed Sylvanus Iskandar brings to life the singularly poetic world of playwright and NYTW Usual Suspect Mfoniso Udofia’s Sojourners and Her Portmanteau. Performed in repertory, these two chapters of Udofia's sweeping, nine-part saga, The Ufot Cycle, chronicle the triumphs and losses of the tenacious matriarch of a Nigerian family. In Sojourners, a young, pregnant Abasiama struggles with the responsibilities of her arranged marriage as her husband becomes seduced by 1970s American culture. Intent on finishing her university studies so that she can return to Nigeria, Abasiama weighs her dreams and obligations as she attempts to move forward. Decades later, the full impact of her decision erupts when Abasiama’s family is reunited in Her Portmanteau. As Nigerian traditions clash with the realities of American life, Abasiama and her daughters must confront complex familial legacies that span time, geography, language and culture. Presented in two parts, this heartrending pairing probes into the ties that bind mothers and daughters and how we define home. Sojourners and Her Portmanteau are produced in association with The Playwrights Realm who premiered Sojourners last winter in a limited engagement world premiere production.
Her Portmanteau is an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award-winner.
Broadway: The Crucible (Walter Kerr Theatre). Off Broadway: Father Comes Home From The Wars Parts 1, 2 and 3 (Public Theater), Henry IV (St Ann’s Warehouse), Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse and St Ann’s Warehouse), Ruined (Almeida Theatre and Arena Stage. Winner Critics Circle Best Actress Award), Death and The King’s Horseman (National Theatre) and A Raisin In The Sun (Manchester Royal Exchange. Winner M.E.N Theatre Award Best Supporting Actress).
NYTW debut. Off-Broadway: Everybody (Signature Theatre), Sojourners (Playwrights Realm) Regional: Two Trains Running (Arden Theatre Company), The Mountaintop (Playmakers Repertory Company and Triad Stage), In the Red and Brown Water (Marin Theater Company), Spoon Lake Blues (Alliance Theater Company), A Christmas Carol (American Conservatory Theater). Film & TV: Panama Canal Stories, “Boardwalk Empire,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Forever” Education: MFA, The American Conservatory Theater. BA, Spelman College. Lakisha also enjoys creating/producing her own work (short films & web content).
Adepero was born in Brooklyn, New York, one of seven children to Nigerian parents. Although she graduated pre-med from Cornell University, Oduye decided to pursue her passion for acting upon graduation. Oduye’s breakout role came in 2011 when she starred in Dee Rees’ critically acclaimed, award-winning Focus Features release Pariah, for which she received a nomination for Best Female Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards. During her Golden Globe acceptance speech for The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep mentioned some of her favorite performances of the year, highlighting Oduye in Pariah. The following year, Oduye joined an all-star cast (including Alfre Woodard, Phylicia Rashad and Queen Latifah) in the Steel Magnolias television remake as Annelie Dupuy-Desoto, a role originated by Daryl Hannah in the 1998 film. Oduye starred alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor in Steve McQueen’s historical drama 12 Years A Slave, winner of the 2014 Academy Award for Best Picture. She also appeared in Ava DuVernay’s short film The Door, part of Miu Miu’s ad campaign known as The Women’s Tales. After several lead roles in regional theater productions, including Eclipsed and The Bluest Eye, Oduye made her Broadway debut opposite Cicely Tyson in Horton Foote’s The Trip To Bountiful.
Chinasa is reprising the role of Abasiama in Sojourners, for which she received a 2016 Lortel Award nomination. She can currently be seen in the film From Nowhere (SXSW award winner), and the upcoming films What The Night Can Do, and On Monday of Last Week. Ogbuagu’s credits also include recurring roles in “The Following” and “Nurse Jackie.” She is repped by Stone Manners Salners.
Some of Hubert’s stage work includes Sojourners (The Playwrights Realm), The Model Apartment (Primary Stages), Angels in America (Signature Theatre), A Fable (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), 365 Days/365 Plays (The Public Theater), Nightlands (New Georges), The Tempest (Target Margin), Every Angel Is Brutal (Clubbed Thumb), and the OBIE-winning plays A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes (Women’s Project/New Georges) and A Map of Virtue (13P). Select regional credits include Imogen Says Nothing (Yale Rep), The Lion in Winter (Two River Theater), Blue Door (Seattle Rep), Romeo and Juliet (The Shakespeare Theater Company), and A Raisin in the Sun (Westport Country Playhouse directed by Phylicia Rashad). Television appearances include “The Path” (Hulu), “Happyish” (Showtime), “The Good Wife” (CBS), “Law and Order: SVU” (NBC), “Over/Under” (USA), and “Black Jack” (Comedy Central pilot). He can be seen in the upcoming films Trouble by Theresa Rebeck and Where is Kyra?. He trained at NYU and is a YoungArts award recipient.
Chinaza is a New York Based, Nigerian American, Actor/Performer/Writer. He was born in Edinburgh Scotland, and lived in London England, until he immigrated to the US at the age of 14. He has a BFA in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While at Tisch, he studied at the Experimental Theatre Wing and the Classical Studio. His Film and TV credits include: Ricki and the Flash (Starring Meryl Streep), Mother Of George (Sundance, starring Isaach De Bankole and Danai Gurira), Terry Richardson’s Last Hours (Cannes) and episodes on “Golden Boy” (CBS), “Deception” (NBC) and “Blue Bloods” (CBS). In New York he has worked with The Transport Group, Playwright’s Realm, LAByrinth Theater Company, La Mama, The National Black Theatre and now New York Theatre Workshop. He has also worked regionally at Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle, Washington) and the Everyman Theatre (Baltimore, Maryland). He also hosted wild dance shows with The Dance Cartel, and is a member of The Hartbeat Ensemble and Flux Theatre Ensemble. www.chinazauche.com