“Familiar” by award-winning playwright Danai Gurira Comes to Old Globe

This funny, warmhearted look at tradition, marriage, and what it means to be an American family will be directed by Edward Torres (the Globe’s Water by the Spoonful and Native GardensCanción at Repertorio Español) and will run January 26 – March 3, 2019 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, Old Globe Theatre, Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Preview performances run January 26–30. 

The Old Globe has just announced the cast and creative team for Familiar by Tony Award nominee Danai Gurira (Broadway’s Eclipsed, Black Panther, “The Walking Dead”).

Director Edward Torres. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.

Donald and his wife Marvelous have been living the American Dream since emigrating from Zimbabwe nearly three decades ago. They have a beautiful house and impressive careers, and now one of their daughters is getting married! But when the bride insists on a traditional African wedding ceremony, tensions start to rise. Throw in an eccentric aunt from the old country and a bewildered bridegroom, and soon it’s not certain the couple will ever make it down the aisle. The New York Times calls it “an engrossing, fiercely funny comedy–drama that probes with subtlety and smarts.” Contains strong language.

The cast includes Wandachristine as Anne (Apollo Theater’s, Fences and The Vagina Monologues), Anthony Comis (Off Broadway’s Insignificance, Hulu’s “The Path”) as Brad, Lucas Hall (Broadway’s Farinelli and the KingKing Charles III, six Globe shows) as Chris, Danny Johnson (Broadway’s All the Way and The Song of Jacob Zulu) as Donald Chinyaramwira, Ramona Keller (Broadway’s Smokey Joe’s CafeBrooklyn,  and Caroline, or Change) as Margaret Munyewa, Cherene Snow (Broadway’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Scottsboro BoysSmall Mouth Sounds) as Marvelous Chinyaramwira, Olivia Washington (Off Broadway’s The Glass MenagerieLee Daniels’ The Butler, “Mr. Robot”) as Nyasha, and Zakiya Young (Broadway’s Stick Fly and The Little Mermaid, Off Broadway’s Storyville,  Spamilton at CTG) as Tendikayi.

Opening night is Thursday, January 31. Tickets start at $30.00 and can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE, or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.

The creative team includes Walt Spangler (Scenic Design), Alejo Vietti (Costume Design), Jason Lyons (Lighting Design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (Sound Design), Somi(Composer), Rufaro Gwarada (Cultural Consultant), Caparelliotis Casting (Casting), and Jess Slocum (Production Stage Manager).

Danai Gurira (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright and actress. As a playwright, her works include In the Continuum (Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Helen Hayes Award), Eclipsed (Tony Award nomination for Best Play, NAACP Theatre Award, Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical, Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Production – Play), and The Convert (six Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award). Familiar received its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre in 2015 and premiered in New York at Playwrights Horizons in 2016. She is a recipient of the Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award at the 2016 Drama Desk Awards, a Whiting Award, and a Hodder Fellowship, and she has been commissioned by Yale Rep, Center Theatre Group, Playwrights Horizons, and Royal Court Theatre. As an actor, she co-starred in Marvel’s blockbuster phenomenon Black Panther as Okoye, opposite Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, and Lupita Nyong’o, and she stars as Michonne on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (NAACP Image Award nomination). Recently, she starred in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity Warand the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me. Her other select acting credits include the films The Visitor and Mother of George, as well as Shakespeare in the Park’s Measure for Measure (Joe A. Callaway Award). Born in the U.S. to Zimbabwean parents and raised in Zimbabwe, she holds an M.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and serves as an ambassador for Bono’s ONE campaign. She is also the founder of LOGpledge.org, an awareness-building campaign focused on the plights of women and girls around the globe; and the co-founder of Almasi Arts, which works to give access and opportunity to the African dramatic artist. almasiartsalliance.org, @danaigurira on Twitter and Instagram, @DanaiGuriraOfficial on Facebook.

Edward Torres (Director) makes his debut in The Old Globe’s proscenium theatre after directing Native GardensWater by the Spoonful, and the 2017 Powers New Voices Festival reading of What You Are for the Globe’s in-the-round theatre. He directed the California premiere of The Happiest Song Plays Last (Center Theatre Group/The Los Angeles Theatre Center, also at Goodman Theatre in Chicago), Eric Aviles’s Where You From? What You Be About? (Downtown Art), the world premiere musical La Canción (Repertorio Español; Latin ACE Award for Best Musical, Artistas de Teatro Independiente Award for Best Director), Macbeth (The Public Theater’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit), Mosque Alert (Silk Road Rising), White Tie Ball by Martín Zimmerman (Teatro Vista), and How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence (Steppenwolf for Young Adults). He directed the world premiere of Kristoffer Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Victory Gardens Theater, produced in association with Teatro Vista), which was named Best Play of 2009 by the Chicago TribuneChicago Sun-Times, and Time Out Chicago; was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and earned Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Production – Play and Best Director – Play. He also directed subsequent productions to critical acclaim at Off Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre (2011 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, Obie Award for Best New American Play) and at Geffen Playhouse. He serves as an Assistant Professor of the Practice in Theater at Wesleyan University, and Artistic Director Emeritus at Teatro Vista. His television credits include “Chicago P.D.,” “Luke Cage,” “The Following,” “The Deuce,” “The Get Down,” “Gotham,” and “The Romanoffs.” As a performer, he was recently seen in Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed production of Downstate by Bruce Norris, which will transfer to the National Theatre in London.

Familiar at The Old Globe is supported in part through a gift from Production Sponsor United. Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego.


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