Ed Sylvanus Iskandar Helmed SOJOURNERS and HER PORTMANTEAU Extend in Rep at NYTW through June 11

Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and playwright Mfoniso Udofia.
Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and playwright Mfoniso Udofia.

New York Theatre Workshop is presenting NYTW Usual Suspect Mfoniso Udofia’s SOJOURNERS and HER PORTMANTEAU, presented in repertory and directed by NYTW Usual Suspect and former NYTW 2050 Fellow Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, and has extended the duet plays for one week.

SOJOURNERS and HER PORTMANTEAU began performances on Saturday, April 22, 2017 and opened on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at New York Theatre Workshop (79 E. 4th Street New York, NY 10003) for a limited run now through Sunday, June 11, 2017.

Jenny Jules, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Adepero Oduye, Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Chinasa Ogbuagu, Playwright Mfoniso Udofia, Lakisha May and Chinaza Uche. Photo courtesy of NYTW/Facebook
Jenny Jules, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Adepero Oduye, Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Chinasa Ogbuagu, Playwright Mfoniso Udofia, Lakisha May and Chinaza Uche. Photo courtesy of NYTW/Facebook

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.

Hubert Point-Du Jour and Chinasa Ogbuagu star in Mfoniso Udofia's Sojourners, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, at New York Theatre Workshop. (© Joan Marcus)
Hubert Point-Du Jour and Chinasa Ogbuagu star in Mfoniso Udofia’s Sojourners, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, at New York Theatre Workshop. (© Joan Marcus)

The cast for Sojourners features Lakisha Michelle May (Everybody) as Moxie Wilis, Chinasa Ogbuagu (The Qualms) as Abasiama Ekpeyoung, Hubert Point-Du Jour (Every Angel is Brutal) as Ukpong Ekpeyoung, and Chinaza Uche (Dolphins and Sharks) as Disciple Ufot.

Jenny Jules plays Abasiama in Mfoniso Udofia's Her Portmanteau at New York Theatre Workshop. (© Joan Marcus)
Jenny Jules plays Abasiama in Mfoniso Udofia’s Her Portmanteau at New York Theatre Workshop. (© Joan Marcus)
Adepero Oduye plays Iniabasi in Her Portmanteau. (© Joan Marcus)
Adepero Oduye plays Iniabasi in Her Portmanteau. (© Joan Marcus)

The cast for HER PORTMANTEAU features Jenny Jules (The Crucible) as Abasiama Ufot, Adepero Oduye (The Trip to Bountiful) as Iniabasi Ekpeyoung, and Chinasa Ogbuagu as Adiagha Ufot.

SOJOURNERS and HER PORTMANTEAU feature scenic design by Jason Sherwood, costume design by Loren Shaw, lighting and video design by Jiyoun Chang, and sound design by Jeremy S. Bloom. Dawn-Elin Fraser (Nat Turner in Jerusalem) serves as the dialect coach and Janice Paran (Anna in the Tropics) serves as the dramaturg.

Lakisha Michelle May plays Moxie, Chinasa Ogbuagu plays Abasiama, and Chinaza Uche plays Disciple in Sojourners at New York Theatre Workshop. (© Joan Marcus)
Lakisha Michelle May plays Moxie, Chinasa Ogbuagu plays Abasiama, and Chinaza Uche plays Disciple in Sojourners at New York Theatre Workshop. (© Joan Marcus)

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 (Katherine Kovner, Artistic Director Roberta Pereira, Producing Director) who premiered Sojourners last winter in a limited engagement world premiere production.

Tickets for Sojourners and HER PORTMANTEAU are $65 and are on sale now at NYTW.org and by phone at 212-460-5475. Standard ticketing fees apply to all orders.

A $25 day-of ticket rush is available for young people, seniors, artists and Lower East Side residents. Rush tickets are subject to availability and are sold cash-only, limit two per person. Proper identification is required for all rush tickets. Youth (ages 25 and under) and seniors (ages 65+) may present an ID indicating date-of-birth; Artists may present an ID and a program or union card; Lower East Side residents may present an ID that includes your address.

The performance schedule is structured to allow audience members to see each play on separate days, or to see both in succession on either Saturday or Sunday with a meal break. The performances schedule for Sojourners is as follows: Tuesday at 7pm, Thursday at 8pm, Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 1pm. The performance schedule for HER PORTMANTEAU is as follows: Wednesday at 7pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 4pm, and Sunday at 7pm.

For Sojourners and HER PORTMANTEAU, New York Theatre Workshop is proud to partner with Eat Offbeat, a company that delivers authentic, off-the-beaten path cuisines made by refugees resettled in New York City. Audiences attending a two-show marathon experience of Sojourners and HER PORTMANTEAU on Saturdays and Sundays have the option to purchase a hot meal delivered right to the theatre to enjoy following the afternoon show. Meals are only available on Saturdays and Sundays during the run of Sojourners and HER PORTMANTEAU and must be pre-ordered online at NYTW.org. More information about Eat Offbeat is available at eatoffbeat.com.

STC’s THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Opening Night with André De Shields, Maulik Pancholy, Telly Leung, Oliver Thornton and More 

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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