Lakisha Michelle May joins the cast of Sojourners at New York Theatre Workshop.
Lakisha Michelle May joins the cast of Sojourners at New York Theatre Workshop.
(© Allison Stock)

New York Theatre Workshop has announced full casting for Mfoniso Udofia's Sojourners and Her Portmanteau, presented in repertory and directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. The productions will begin performances on April 22 in advance of a May 16 opening and will run through June 4.

Sojourners and Her Portmanteau are two chapters of Udofia's nine-part Ufot Cycle, which chronicles the triumphs and losses of the tenacious matriarch of a Nigerian family.

The cast for Sojourners will feature 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.

The cast for Her Portmanteau will feature Jenny Jules (The Crucible) as Abasiama Ufot, Adepero Oduye (The Trip to Bountiful) as Iniabasi Ekpeyoung, and Chinasa Ogbuaga as Adiagha Ufot.

The creative team for both plays will feature scenic design by Jason Sherwood, costume design by Loren Shaw, lighting and video design by Jiyoun Chang, and sound design by Jeremy Bloom. Dawn-Elin Fraser (Nat Turner in Jerusalem) will serve as the dialect coach and Janice Paran (Anna in the Tropics) will serve as dramaturg.

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.

Sojourners and Her Portmanteau are produced in association with the Playwrights Realm, which premiered Sojourners last winter in a limited engagement world premiere production.

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