The Half-God of Rainfall


By Inua Ellams
Movement Direction by Orlando Pabotoy
Directed by Taibi Magar
A co-production with American Repertory Theater

2022/23 Season

July 14, 2023—August 20, 2023

CONTENT TRANSPARENCY: In an effort to care for our community, we're sharing details about this production that may be sensitive for members of our audience. The following information may reveal plot points.

The Half-God of Rainfall contains haze, fog, flashing lights, loud sounds and stages sexual and physical violence.

Read Synopsis

When Demi, the half Nigerian-mortal, half Greek-god, is angry, rain clouds gather. When he cries, rivers burst their banks. And the first time he takes a shot on a basketball court, the deities of the land wake up.

From award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams (Barber Shop Chronicles) comes a new myth that spans continents and millennia. The Half-God of Rainfall is a contemporary epic that weaves poetry and storytelling in a majestic journey that transports us from a tiny village in South West Nigeria to an NBA arena in the United States to the hallowed halls of Mount Olympus, where the mothers, daughters and goddesses take a stand against the fragile, furious and entitled gods. Obie Award winner and NYTW Usual Suspect Taibi Magar (Help) directs.

CONTENT TRANSPARENCY: In an effort to care for our community, we’re sharing details about this production that may be sensitive for members of our audience. The following information may reveal plot points.

The Half-God of Rainfall contains haze, fog, flashing lights, loud sounds and stages sexual and physical violence.

Join us at the upcoming 05FEST! Award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams showcases the power of words as he curates and hosts a series of creative and thought-provoking events. This FREE festival will bring poetry center stage! LEARN MORE & RESERVE YOUR SPOT

  • Sàngó

    Broadway: The Play That Goes Wrong. Off-Broadway: Crumbs From The Table of Joy (Keen Theater), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Audible Theater), Native Son (The Acting Co.), If Pretty Hurts… (Playwrights Horizons). TV/Film: “Blue Bloods,” “Madam Secretary,” “Elementary” (CBS); “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC); “The Good Fight” (Paramount Plus); Mother/Android, The Upside.

  • Hera

    NYTW debut. Broadway: Present Laughter. Off-Broadway: Mother of The Maid (The Public), Dracula (CSC), The Winter’s Tale (TFANA), Sense & Sensibility (Bedlam), Angels In America (Signature), & work with Red Bull, LAByrinth, The Acting Company. World Premiere Adaptation: The Oresteia (Shakespeare Theatre of DC). Film/TV: The Man Who Killed Hitler… “The Blacklist,” and currently HBO’s “The Gilded Age.” Awards: Emery Battis Award, Joe Callaway Award, NTC Emerging Professional Award, Drama League and Princess Grace Award Nominations.

  • Demi

    Mister Fitzgerald hails from Baltimore, MD. NYTW: On Sugarland. Broadway: Ohio State Murders (James Earl Jones Theater). Off-Broadway: A Raisin In The Sun (Public Theater), Exception To The Rule (Roundabout). Film: The Last Deal, Boogie, 30 Weeks. TV: “Power,” “FBI,” “The Blacklist,” “Godfather of Harlem.” Awards: Best Duo Performance (DTLAFF). BFA, FSC.

  • Osún

    Patrice Johnson Chevannes is an award-winning, Brooklyn-based actress, writer, filmmaker, educator, director and the executive producer of God-and-all-o-wee Productions and Ubigwitus Records. Broadway: Racing Demon and The Crucible directed by Sir Richard Eyre. Off-Broadway/Regional: Othello (Desdemona opposite Sir Patrick Stewart); Pericles with Sir Trevor Nunn (TFANA); Tamburlaine with Sir Michael Boyd (TFANA); Endgame (Irish Rep); I’m Revolting, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven with Stephen Adly Guirgis and John Ortiz (Atlantic Theater Company); runboyrun/In Old Age with Awoye Timpo and Loretta Greco (NYTW). Patrice garnered a 2023 Lortel Award nomination for her role as Nell in Endgame, 2020 Drama Desk and Drama League nominations for runboyrun/In Old Age, and an Audelco nomination for her role in Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven. TV: “Chambers,” “POSE,” “SHRILL,” “EVIL,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “The First Lady,” “The Good Fight.” Films written and directed by Patrice: Kings County, NY’s Dirty Laundry, Hill and Gully. Patrice is on the faculty of The New School, where she teaches acting in The School of Drama

  • Zeus

    Theater credits include Coal Country (The Public), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate (Signature), Talk Radio (Broadway). He is the playwright/performer of Krapp, 39 (Drama Desk nomination) which played Soho Playhouse, Tristan Bates Theater/London, Axis Ballymun/Dublin, and Pleasance Theater/ Edinburgh. He wrote and performed (opposite Annette O’Toole) Hamlet in Bed (published by Dramatists Play Service) which premiered at Rattlestick Theater (directed by Lisa Peterson), with a UK premiere at Pleasance Theater, Edinburgh. Also: Opus (Primary Stages), Desire Under the Elms (Broadway), The Morini Strand (Primary Stages), Samuel D. Hunter’s The Few (Old Globe and Rattlestick), Dael Orlandersmith’s Horsedreams (Rattlestick), Poison (Origin), Sam Shepard’s Tooth of Crime (Signature), Edgar Oliver’s Hands In Wartime (La MaMa), Good People (Huntington), Starbuck in The Rainmaker (Arena Stage), John Proctor in The Crucible (Hartford Stage), Eric Bogosian’s Humpty Dumpty (McCarter), Jean Genet’s Splendid’s (Theatre National de Paris/La Colline). TV: recurring roles on “Shades of Blue” (NBC), “The Blacklist” (NBC), “Damages” (FX), and Adult Swim’s “The Heart She Holler.” Also, “Prodigal Son” (FOX), “Evil” (CBS), “The Good Wife” (CBS), “L&O: SVU” (NBC), “Hit & Run” (Netflix), “Elementary” (CBS), “Person of Interest” (CBS), and “Dexter: New Blood.” (Showtime). Film: Can You Ever Forgive Me, Man on A Wire, The Last Thing Mary Saw, One For the Money, many indies. He is the author of the full length plays Cincinnatus (O’Neill/ National Playwrights Conference finalist 2022), The Escape Artist, and The Twilight Shopper. He wrote and directed the indie feature film Escape Artists. Graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts/ Experimental Theatre Wing.

  • Elegba

    NYTW: On Sugarland. Broadway: Ohio State Murders, Electra, Having Our Say, So Long on Lonely Street. Off-Broadway: Cullud Wattah, Passage, Brownsville Song, Trojan Women, Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death. Selected Regional: Our Daughters, Like Pillars, Skeleton Crew. Film/TV: Detroit, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” The Preacher’s Wife, “The Wire,” “Law & Order.”

  • Modúpé

    Theater: Merry Wives (The Public Theater); Yemanja (Kennedy Center); BDOTJ (Society Theatre); King John, Antony & Cleopatra, Hamlet (Stratford Festival). TV: “The Good Fight” (Paramount +), “Evil” (CBS), “Designated Survivor” (Netflix), “Golden City” (Marvel/Disney+). Upcoming: “Lady in The Lake” starring Natalie Portman (AppleTV+). SUNY Purchase (BFA) and NYU Grad Acting (MFA).

Inua Ellams / Playwright

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer. He is a Complete Works poet alumni and facilitates workshops in creative writing where he explores reoccurring themes in his work—Identity, Displacement and Destiny—in accessible, enjoyable ways for participants of all ages and backgrounds. His awards include: Edinburgh Fringe First Award 2009, The Liberty Human Rights Award, The Live Canon International Poetry Prize, The Kent & Sussex Poetry Competition, Magma Poetry Competition, Winchester Poetry Prize, A Black British Theatre Award and The Hay Festival Medal for Poetry. He has been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Tate Modern, Louis Vuitton, BBC Radio & Television. His poetry books include Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars published by Flipped Eye, The Wire-Headed Heathen by Akashic Books, The Half-God of Rainfall by 4th Estate and The Actual by Penned in The Margins. His plays include Black T-shirt CollectionThe 14th TaleBarber Shop Chronicles and Three Sisters published by Oberon. He founded The Midnight Run, an arts-filled, night-time, urban walking experience; The Rhythm and Poetry Party (The R.A.P Party) which celebrates poetry & hip hop; and Poetry + Film / Hack (P+F/H) which celebrates Poetry & Film.

Twitter & Insta: @inuaellams

Orlando Pabotoy / Movement Director

Movement Direction: HVSF 2022 season; Acting Company 2017/2018 season, CSC (The Cherry Orchard) directed by the late Andrei Belgrader. Collaborations: Geof Soebelle (The Object Lesson, Home); Lars Han (Holoscenes); David Neumann (Advanced Beginner group). Theater Direction, selected projects: Serpent Woman, The World In the Moon, Scapin, Chalk Circle, Pericles, The Frogs (The Juilliard School); That Beautiful Laugh (La MaMa). Film Direction: Alan Tudyk (K2S0, Star Wars: Rogue One). Theater Performance (Selected): The Public, NYTW, Yale Rep, Met Opera, Kirk Douglas, Guthrie. Ma-yi Theater, American Airlines Theater, Salzburg Festpieler (Austria). Film/TV Performance: Comedy Central, WB, NBC, ABC. Awards: Obie, TCG Fox Fellow.

Taibi Magar / Director

Taibi Magar was recently named the Co-Artistic Director of Philadelphia Theatre Company. As a freelance director, her most recent credits are Help (The Shed) and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Signature Theatre, Lortel Award). Other NY credits include Capsule by Whitney White and Peter Mark Kendall (Under the Radar Festival/The Public Theater, co-directed with Tyler Dobrowsky); Blue Ridge starring Marin Ireland and The Great Leap starring BD Wong (Atlantic Theater Company); Is God Is (Soho Rep, 2018 Obie Award); Master (The Foundry, NYT Critics Pick); and Underground Railroad Game (Ars Nova, NYT Critics Pick). She also premiered the new musicals Macbeth In Stride and We Live In Cairo at A.R.T. Boston. Regional: CTG, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Alley Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, and Seattle Repertory Theatre, among others. International: Hamburg Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Malthouse Theatre (Melbourne), and Soho Theatre (London). Other: She is the recipient of a Stephen Sondheim Fellowship, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Fellowship, Public Theater Shakespeare Fellowship, and TFANA Actors and Director Project Fellowship. Taibi is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and a NYTW Usual Suspect. She received an Obie Award in 2018 and the SDC Breakout Award in 2019.

Riccardo Hernández / Scenic Design

Linda Cho / Costume Design

NYTW:  The Architecture of Loss; Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord; Endlings. Broadway: Summer, 1976; Take Me Out; Grand HorizonsAnastasia (Tony nomination); The Great Society; A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Award, Henry Hewes Award); The Lifespan of a Fact; Velocity of Autumn. Numerous Off-Broadway, Regional and Opera productions. Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing. MFA, Yale School of Drama.

Stacey Derosier / Lighting Design

Mikaal Sulaiman / Sound Design & Music Composition

NYTW: On Sugarland, Sanctuary City, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire. Broadway: Thanksgiving Play, Fat Ham, Death of a Salesman, Cost of Living, Macbeth, Thoughts of a Colored Man. Off-Broadway: Primary Trust (Roundabout), Fairview (Soho Rep), Rags Parkland (Ars Nova), Underground Railroad Game (Ars Nova). Recipient: Obie Award, Creative Capital Award, and Henry Hewes Award.

Tal Yarden / Projection Design

NYTW: Lazarus, Little Foxes, Liberty City, The Misanthrope, Beast, Kaos. Broadway: Network, The Waverly Gallery, Indecent, Sunday in the Park with George, The Crucible; Off-Broadway: Hamlet, Antigone, The Damned, Kings of War. LONDON: Get Up, Stand Up, Anna X. Opera: Exterminating Angel, Salome, Macbeth. Awards & Nominations: Lucille Lortel, Tony.

Beatrice Capote / Orisha Movement Consulting / Choreography

NYTW debut. Performance Credits: Camille A. Brown & Dancers company. Recent Choreography Credits: Angelique Kidjo’s Yemandja! (The Public), It’s Fine, I’m Fine and Citrus (Regional Theatre), The Wedding Band (Montclair State University), International Dance Company (TWU). Recent Choreographic Concerts: Jazz at Lincoln Center, 40th Anniversary Battery Dance Festival. Education: BA/MFA Montclair State University. Recent Teaching Credits: Associate Professor, Indiana University Contemporary Dance.

The Telsey Office / Destiny Lilly, CSA / Casting

With offices in both New York and Los Angeles, The Telsey Office casts for theatre, film, television, and commercials. The Telsey Office is dedicated to creating safe, equitable, and anti-racist spaces through collaboration artistry, heart, accountability, and advocacy.

Ann James / Intimacy Director

NYTW: How to Defend Yourself. Broadway: Pass Over, Sweeney Todd, Parade, White Girl in Danger. Off-Broadway: Parade (NYCC), Twilight: Los Angeles 1992, Confederates, My Broken Language, Evanston Salt Costs Climbing, Amani. Regional: Lempicka, The Outsiders, Trading Places. Sensitivity Facilitator: Columbia University, Harvard University, Brown University.

Dawn-Elin Fraser / Voice & Dialect Director

NYTW: Sojourners; Her Portmanteau; An Ordinary Muslim; The House That Will Not Stand; american (tele)visions. North American Dialect Coach: Hamilton. Broadway: Parade; 1776; Macbeth; Slave Play; What the Constitution Means to Me; Once on this Island; Waitress. Off-Broadway: Richard III; Merry Wives (The Public Theater). MFA, American Conservatory Theater. NYTW Usual Suspect.

Caroline Englander / Stage Manager

NYTW: runboyrun, In Old Age. Broadway: King Lear. Off-Broadway: The Jungle (St. Ann’s Warehouse, STC) Becky Nurse of Salem (LCT); Hamlet Oresteia (Park Avenue Armory); The Vagrant Trilogy, The Outer SpaceThe Apple Family Plays (Public/NYSF); sandblasted (Vineyard); The Courtroom, Hamlet (Waterwell); Sense & Sensibility (Bedlam). BA: Barnard College.

Iyvon E. / Dramaturg

Tinc Productions / Production Management

Tinc Productions is a NYC-based theatrical and event production management firm, as well as a trusted labor provider. With locations in NYC, Texas, and Florida, Tinc provides top-tier technical production for shows and events across the US. NYTW: How to Defend Yourself. Broadway: Paradise Square, Slava’s Snowshow. Regional: His Story. Off-Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof in YiddishSandra, The Twenty-Sided Tavern, The Last Supper, Americano!, The Play That Goes Wrong, Little Shop of Horrors, Our Man in Santiago. Tours: On Your Feet!.


Basketball Has the Hot Hand Off-Broadway

The New York Times

"Basketball hasn’t just been on the playgrounds of New York City this summer. Hoop dreams are also playing out onstage, highlighting a theater, ahem, crossover that has become more pronounced in recent years."

The Basketball Loving Poet

New York Times

Flash back to 2020 when The Half-God of Rainfall was first released. Inua goes in-depth on his family history growing up in Nigeria, England and Ireland, as well as his research for The Half-God of Rainfall and how the play gets its title.

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