Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Zainab Jah, Mirirai Sithole, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Nabiyah Be, MaameYaa Boafo, Paige Gilbert, Nike Kadri. Photo by Lia Chang

Jocelyn Bioh’s “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” Receives 2018 Drama Desk Ensemble Award and Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Off Broadway Alliance Nominations

MCC Theater’s critically acclaimed, sold out, extended production of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, written by 2017-18 Tow Playwright-in-Residence Jocelyn Bioh, and directed by Tony Award winner Rebecca Taichman, will return to New York, playing a strictly limited engagement this fall.

Nike Kadri, Nabiyah Be, Paige Gilbert, Mirirai Sithole. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Nike Kadri, Nabiyah Be, Paige Gilbert, Mirirai Sithole. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

On Sunday, June 3, 2018, Nabiyah Be, MaameYaa Boafo, Paige Gilbert, Zainab Jah, Nike Kadri, Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Mirirai Sithole, and Myra Lucretia Taylor of School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, will receive the 2018 Drama Desk Ensemble Award at the 63rd Annual Drama Desk Awards at Town Hall. 

In School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, Paulina (MaameYaa Boafo), the reigning queen bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school, has her sights set on the Miss Universe pageant. But the arrival of Ericka (Nabiyah Be), a new student with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter–and Paulina’s hive-minded friends. This buoyant and biting comedy explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe. How far would you go to be queen bee?

School Girls was also nominated for Outstanding Play, Outstanding Costume Design for a Play for Dede M. Ayite and Outstanding Wig and Hair for Cookie Jordan.

MaameYaa Boafo and Zainab Jah. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
MaameYaa Boafo and Zainab Jah. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

School Girls creator Jocelyn Bioh received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Signature’s revival of Suzan-Lori Parks’ In the Blood, also in consideration for Outstanding Revival of a Play.

Sayon Sengbloh as Hester La Negrita and Jocelyn Bioh as The Welfare Lady in In the Blood. Joan Marcus
Sayon Sengbloh as Hester La Negrita and Jocelyn Bioh as The Welfare Lady in In the Blood. Joan Marcus

School Girls has received four 2018 Lucille Lortel nominations including Outstanding Play, Outstanding Lead Actress for MaameYaa Boafo, Outstanding Featured Actress for Mirirai Sithole, Outstanding Costume Design for Dede M. Ayite.

Mirirai Sithole, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Jocelyn Bioh and MaameYaa Boafo. Photo courtesy of MaameYaa Boafo/Facebook
Mirirai Sithole, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Jocelyn Bioh and MaameYaa Boafo. Photo courtesy of MaameYaa Boafo/Facebook

2018 Outer Critics Circle Award nominations include the John Gassner Award (Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright) for Jocelyn Bioh and Outstanding Actress in a Play for MaameYaa Boafo.

MaameYaa Boafo. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
MaameYaa Boafo. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Boafo is nominated for the 2018 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award and School Girls is up for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play, and the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play. 

Nabiyah Be and Myra Lucretia Taylor. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Nabiyah Be and Myra Lucretia Taylor. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Tickets are now on sale for School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play which will begin previews at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) on Tuesday, October 16, with an official opening night set for Monday, October 22, 2018. The show is set to run through November 25, 2018. Additional information, including casting, will be announced shortly.

For a limited time, 2018/19 MCC Theater subscribers unlock access to up to 6 School Girls tickets for only $50 each, normally priced at $79 for the general public. School Girls is offered with this exclusive add-on ticket offer and is not included in 2018/19 subscription packages. For tickets and more information, visit www.mcctheater.org.

It was also announced today that prior to its MCC run, the MCC Theater’s production of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play will launch the Center Theatre Group’s 2018-2019 season at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. The show will begin previews on Sunday, September 2, with an official opening night set for Sunday, September 8. The show is set to run through September 30, 2018.

Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Mirirai Sithole, and Paige Gilbert. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The original design team of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play returns for this production, and includes scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado, costume design by Dede M. Ayite, lighting design by Jen Schriever, sound design by Palmer Hefferan, hair and wig design by Cookie Jordan, dialect coaching by Deborah Hecht, and casting by Telsey + Company/Adam Caldwell, CSA, William Cantler, CSA, Karyn Casl, CSA.

MaameYaa Boafo, Myra Lucretia Taylor and Zainab Jah. Photo by Lia Chang
MaameYaa Boafo, Myra Lucretia Taylor and Zainab Jah. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields to Receive 2018 Legend of Off Broadway Award; “KPOP,” “Dutch Masters,” “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play” Score Off-Broadway Alliance Nods 

Outer Critics Circle Award Nominees Announced; “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Pacific Overtures,” “Mlima’s Tale,” “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” and “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” Among Nominated

2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Announced including KPOP, “Bella: An American Tall Tale,” “Mary Jane,” “The Lucky Ones,” “Pipeline,” “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” and “Pacific Overtures” 

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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