School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play
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WHO'S WHO

By Jocelyn Bioh
Directed by Rebecca Taichman

Set 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
Prop Design by Noah Mease
Dialect Coach Deborah Hecht
Casting Telsey + Company / Adam Caldwell, CSA, Will Cantler, CSA, Karyn Casl, CSA

Jocelyn Bioh (Playwright) is a Ghanaian-American writer and performer. NYC acting credits include In the Blood (Signature Theatre, Drama Desk Nomination), Everybody (Signature Theatre, Lortel nomination); Men On Boats (Playwrights Horizons); An Octoroon (Soho Rep); Neighbors (The Public); and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2015 Tony Award for Best Play). Her plays include 2015 Kilroys’ List selection Nollywood Dreams (part of 2017 The Cherry Lane Mentor Project), School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play (2017/18 MCC Theater, Lortel Award, OCC John Gassner Award, Hull-Warriner Award, Drama Desk Nomination, Drama League Nomination, Off-Broadway Alliance Nomination, Kilroys’ List 2016), African Americans (2011 Ruby Prize Finalist), Goddess (book writer), and The Ladykiller’s Love Story of which she conceived the story and wrote the libretto with music/lyrics by Cee Lo Green. She is a commissioned playwright with Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theater Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Second Stage Theater. She is a resident playwright at Lincoln Center and is a 2017-18 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence with MCC Theater. BA in English and Theatre from Ohio State University and MFA in Playwriting. 

Rebecca Taichman (Director) Last year, Rebecca won a Tony Award® for Best Director of a Play, an Obie Award and The Outer Critics Circle Award for her direction of Indecentwritten by Paula Vogel. Indecent opened at The Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and The Vineyard Theater before opening on Broadway at The Cort Theater. Rebecca has directed on and off Broadway, new plays and old, musicals and opera.  She has worked with writers Jocelyn Bioh, Sarah Ruhl, Danai Gurira, Enda Walsh, Brian Selznick, Kirsten Greenidge, Nico Muhly, David Adjmi, Stephen Karam among others.  She has worked at theaters such as The Roundabout, Lincoln Center, The Public, Playwrights Horizons, MCC, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Old Globe, ART, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, McCarter, Woolly Mammoth, etc. Rebecca is a resident director at The Roundabout Theater in NYC, a Henry Crown Fellow at The Aspen Institute, and a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. www.rebeccataichman.com

MaameYaa Boafo (Paulina Sarpong)Born in Pakistan, raised in a couple European and East African countries, and hails from Ghana. Theatre: School Girls: Or, the African Mean Girls Play (MCC, Drama League Nomination, Lucille Lortel Outstanding Lead Actress Nomination, Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination and Drama Desk Ensemble Award Winner ) Lift (Crossroads, 59e59) Hamlet ( American Globe Theatre) Comedy of Errors (The Shakespeare Project) Untamed (National Black Theatre)  TV: “Chicago Med,” “Blacklist,” “Mysteries of Laura,” “Madam Secretary,” “American Odyssey,” “Iron Fist.”  Film: The Family FangWhere is Kyra? Olive, New York, I Love You, When It All Falls Down. Currently: An African City (two time best actress nominee for Golden Movie Awards). Training: M.F.A in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts-Rutgers. www.maameyaaboafo.com SDG 

Latoya Edwards (Ama) was recently seen as Pearl in Miss You Like Hell at The Public Theater. Her other credits include Hair at Berkshire Theatre Group, Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical at Atlantic Theater Co, Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat at Adirondack Theatre Festival and Carefully Taught at Astoria PAC. Her TV/Film credits include "The Get Down", "Law & Order: SVU" and the short film Want a Cookie?  www.latoyaedwards.nyc, @latoyaedwards.nyc

Paige Gilbert (Gifty) is happy to reprise her role in School Girls after making her Off-Broadway debut last year at MCC. She is a Detroit, MI native & SUNY Purchase BFA graduate, last seen in the New Ohio Theatre's Street Children. TV:  “The Deuce”. Film: Late Night, ADAM. Love & Gratitude to Brad & The Studio alongside JB Talent and Telsey & Co. for seeing the Gifty in me. 

Joanna A. Jones (Ericka). California native, Joanna A. Jones received her Bachelor's Degree in Theater from UCLA. BroadwayHamilton (Richard Rodgers)West End: Thriller Live (The Lyric Theatre).Regional: Gotta Dance (Bank of America Theater), Baz: Star Crossed Love (Palazzo Theater), Kiss Me, Kate (Pasadena Playhouse), Hair (Hollywood Bowl), Showboat (Sacramento Music Circus), Parade (3D Theatricals), Caroline, or Change (PCPA), For the Record Live: Baz Luhrmann, John Hughes, Tarantino. TV: NBC's Hairspray Live!

Abena Mensah-Bonsu (Nana). Off-Broadway: School Girls… (MCC World Premiere, Drama Desk Award). Add’l NYC credits: Ragtime (Ellis Island); How the Light Gets In - Water is Life (NYMF). Regional: Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Oregon Cabaret); Avenue Q (Playhouse on Park); Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Zach Theatre). Cruise Ship: Rafiki Vocalist (Disney Cruise Line). TV: “Orange is the New Black”, “Daredevil”, “The Other Two”. Abena has provided vocals for Te’La & Da Sol and Bryan Hansen Band. In 2017, she conceived, co-produced, and performed Wade: Reflections in the Water to benefit the ongoing Flint, Michigan water crisis. Graduate of AMDA NY. www.AbenaCMB.com

Mirirai Sithole (Mercy) New York Theatre Credits: School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (MCC) (Lortel Award, Drama Desk Ensemble Award), The Homecoming Queen(Atlantic Theatre Company), Suzan-Lori Parks' The Death of the Last Black Man...(Signature Theatre Company), Mother Courage and Her Children (CSC) (Rosemarie Tichler Award), Frontières Sans Frontières (Bushwick Starr), and Autumn's Harvest (Lincoln Center Education). Regional: Skeleton Crew (Dorset Theatre Festival), Our Town and Christmas Carol (Actors Theatre of Louisville). On TV she has appeared in “Bull," "The Affair,” "Master of None,” “Broad City,” and soon to be released “Russian Doll” on Netflix. She played the title role in “Ace” - a short film by Morgan Kahn Nichols - which won the best New York Short Jury Award at NewFest 2017 and she recently participated in the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in Marrakesh, Morocco. Mirirai received her BFA in Theatre from Adelphi University and was a member of the Professional Training Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville. miriraisithole.com

Myra Lucretia Taylor (Headmistress Francis) Broadway: Nine (Tony Award® Best Revival), Macbeth, ElectraChronicle of a Death ForetoldMuleBone, and A Streetcar Named Desire. Off Broadway: The Lucky Ones (Ars Nova; Lortel nom., Best Featured Actress in a Musical), School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (MCC; Special Drama Desk Award, Best Ensemble), Familiar (Playwrights Horizons; Lortel and OCC nominations for Best Featured Actress in a Play); Regional: Where Storms Are Born(Williamstown Theatre Festival, world premiere), Our Town (Long Wharf), Mary(Goodman), The Old Settler (McCarter, Long Wharf, world premieres). National Tour: Wicked (first African American Madame Morrible): International: The Winter’s TalePericles (member Royal Shakespeare Company)TV: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”(Netflix), “Atlanta” (FX), “Girls” (HBO), “Madame Secretary”, “Elementary”, “Instinct” (CBS) Film: The Big Sick, Catfight, Bushwick, Madeline’s Madeline. WEB: Best Thing You’ll Ever Do (Indie Web nom., best supporting actress.) Ms. Taylor is a Fox Fellow.

Zenzi Williams (Eloise Amponsah) was last seen in the title role of The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit of Henry V, directed by Robert O’Hara. Other theater credits include The Crucible (Broadway), The Homecoming Queen (Atlantic Theater Company), Imogen Says Nothing (Yale Repertory Theater), Mother Courage and Her Children (Classic Stage Company). Television credits include “The Good Fight,” “The Defenders.” Upcoming: “Daredevil.” Film: Black Panther, The Mess He Made. Williams studied at the British American Dramatic Academy and has a BA from Temple University and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

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